On June 4, UC President Janet Napolitano announced the formation of a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) advisory group throughout the UC system. For the past two years, the UC task force on climate and inclusion made eight recommendations, ranging from data collection to cultural training, to advance the well-being of the LGBT community and to call for the permanent establishment of the LGBT group.

“The task force recommendations are a concrete next step to advance UC’s efforts to create more welcoming and inclusive campus environments for members of the LGBT community,” said Barbara French, UC San Francisco vice chancellor of strategic communications and university relations.

Notable recommendations by the task force include establishing an LGBT resource center at UC Merced, allowing students to self-identify their preferred name on their academic record, providing UC employees in domestic partnerships with health benefits and developing and implementing a system-wide gender-inclusive restroom policy.

Blazing a trail to LGBT rights, UCR became the first California university to have a professional staffed LGBT resource center when it opened in 1993. The formation of the center was made possible with the help of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee and groups like the Queer Alliance, the longest-running LGBT student organization at UCR dating back to the 1980s. UCR became the first college campus in the state to offer an LGBT studies minor in 1996 and nine years later, UCR also became the first in the nation to offer gender-neutral housing option to all students.