REAFFIRMATION OF UNIVERSITY POLICY ON NON-DISCRIMINATION AND RECOMMENDED ACTION REGARDING BLOOD BANKS ON CAMPUS

Be It Resolved: that the Academic Senate of Sonoma State University once again reaffirms those principles outlined in the University Policy on Non-Discrimination (http://sonoma.edu/UAffairs/policies/non-discrimination.htm); and further

Be It Resolved: that the Academic Senate of Sonoma State strongly urges the campus Administration to rescind immediately the authorization of Blood Banks to operate on this campus, due to their discriminatory policy against gay men.

Rationale: Sonoma State University has a clear policy on non-discrimination, which includes discrimination on the basis of sexual/gender preference. Since the Reagan era of the early 1980’s, by order of the Federal Food and Drug Administration blood banks are required to decline blood donations from male persons acknowledging during their pre-donation questioning having had sex with other men since 1977. This policy may have made sense when it was first implemented, because then the cause of AIDS was unknown and the disease seemed to target gay men preferentially. However, 24 years later, the cause of AIDS is known – the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus or HIV – and it can be, and routinely is, screened for in donated blood (along with many other pathogens). It is also known today that anyone can get AIDS, irrespective of sexual orientation. To maintain that gay men who donate blood are ipso facto a threat to the public health is simply an anachronistic and discriminatory stereotype.

The Academic Senate recognizes the important public service performed by Blood Banks, and that the requirement to enforce this discriminatory policy regarding gay men is imposed on them by the federal government; and it regrets that this (hopefully temporary) action by SSU is necessary. However, in point of fact the Blood-Bank policy is blatantly and unnecessarily discriminatory against certain members of the Sonoma State University community; and if no action is taken, this discriminatory policy will remain in place indefinitely. Sonoma State University would be joining a nationwide movement with its sister CSU campus San Jose State University, its neighboring UC campus at Berkeley, and many universities and other organizations in attempting to force the government to confront and reverse this discriminatory gesture.

Approved 21 to 13 by paper ballot at the Senate of 4/24/08