Ten Washington State University students, faculty and staff have been selected by President V. Lane Rawlins to lead the university’s newest diversity group — the Commission on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation. Rawlins announced in October his plan to create the commission and implemented a promotional campaign to seek interested members.

“The members were carefully selected to provide advice and counsel to help make WSU a more accepting and comfortable place for people of all sexual orientations. The membership may be augmented in the future as our needs are clarified,” Rawlins said.

Representing faculty and staff are Eleanor Finger, Residence Life; Lisa McIntyre, Sociology; Alice Emerson, Student Support Services; Richard Kelley, Campus Involvement; Marcie Gilliland, Counseling and Testing Services; and Lisa Laughter, Sciences Advising. Student representatives are Sarah Bailey, Counseling Psychology; Tina Krauss, American Studies; Reginald Duncan, Sports Management/Leadership Studies; and Alyson Erb, Psychology.

Ex-officio members are Michael Tate, Office of Equity and Diversity; and Heidi Stanton, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Allies Program. Two additional ex-officio members, a community representative and urban campus liaisons will be added to the commission during the spring semester.

The role of the commission is to identify gender identity and sexual orientation issues and develop action plans to address them. Rawlins, Tate and others will work with commission members to implement recommended strategies.

“I am excited to become part of this new group,” said Finger. “There is potential for us to have far-reaching impact.”

Kelley said this is an opportunity for the WSU community to become more educated as well as provide a voice for this segment of our population. “Just hearing GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) students talk — they feel invisible on campus,” he said.