Meeting Recap — August 6, 2015

Present: Gilbert Borrego, Dale Correa, Jee Davis, Allyssa Guzman, Ann Marchock, Frank Meaker, Andrés Ramírez, Ben Rodriguez, Ronda Rowe; Jeremy Thompson, visiting

Absent: Roxanne Bogucka, Cindy Fisher, Jennifer Heath

Continuing education and continuing collaboration are our priorities for 2015-2016. We might need to continue this discussion at the next meeting in September (in order to brainstorm event ideas), as we have a very full agenda for this meeting.

What we remember
Jee remembered from the July meeting that we talked about establishing a tradition in the form of an annual event. Allyssa remembered the idea to share recommended readings via email and on the blog (check out the Recommended Readings for Staff tag). Ann remembered talking about the restroom locator mobile app, and that we now have a developer to work with (that would be Jeremy). Dale remembered that we worked very hard to determine a final design recommendation for the all-gender restrooms in the Learning Commons. Andres and Ben remembered talking about the restroom app, too, and Ben was looking forward to having Jeremy work with us. Frank remembers being in Seattle, because he is quite the jet setter these days!

Report on July 30, 2015, LGBTQIA workshop
Gilbert and Frank reported that the first LGBTQIA workshop was helpful and educational. In particular, they found that it clarified taboos and non-taboos and answered a lot of questions. There wasn’t enough time for all of the questions, however, so they are looking forward to future trainings. They noted that there is a struggle within the LGBTQIA community itself surrounding vocabularies and allies. As DASIG members, others may assume that we already know all of these issues and have the answers; but the truth is that we need these trainings just as much as anyone else. This information is crucial for political and social sensitivity.

Jee noted how important it is for a group like DASIG to continue educational opportunities like this for others and for ourselves. We agreed to encourage timeliness at the next workshop, as Libraries’ staff have rather tight schedules and graciously give their limited time to attend these trainings. We also agreed to hold this kind of event again, and encourage even more colleagues to attend.

On that note, DASIG’s recommendation to the Libraries’ Administration to implement a Diversity Officer position would create opportunities for more trainings and informative workshops through the work of that position.

DASIG will get a copy of the LGBTQIA vocabularies materials and post that to the blog. Andres will report to the group at the September meeting about the second workshop.

Tabling Events
Allyssa reported that we have 6-8 events that we could table at. She’s been in touch with student organizers, and will select a subset for us to table. We brainstormed about what ‘swag’ we could bring – frisbees, koozies, and/or bags. We also thought about bringing a tablet to demonstrate some of our LGBTQIA/POC-relevant resources. Those who tabled last year remembered that talking with students was quite useful for them, and good practice in general.

One very important idea that came out of this discussion was the DASIG t-shirt. Ronda is looking into a place where we could have these done, and we will hold a design contest to determine the t-shirt design. We did throw around the idea of restroom t-shirts, with our recommended design, to drum up support of that initiative in particular.

Tabling will require two people per table for an hour, no more than three people at a time. There will be a sign up sheet available soon; Allyssa will send out the link.

Restroom Sign Initiative Report
Unfortunately, we were unable to implement our recommended design for the new all-gender, single-stall restrooms in the Learning Commons. Dale and Jee, who met with Frauke Bartels of the UT Project Management department, were informed that a campus standard for all-gender restrooms had in fact been implemented (contrary to earlier understanding), and it would be the sign used in the Learning Commons. This design features the gender binary stick figures and a static wheelchair symbol. However, DASIG was also told that this campus standard could be changed. So that has given DASIG hope for its work with key campus partners on this initiative. The restroom locator app (see below) is DASIG’s way to organize campus interest around this issue.

DASIG is grateful to Frauke and the Project Management Department, and the Learning Commons Group, for their collaboration on this initiative. We learned a great deal, and we are looking forward to future opportunities together.

Restroom Locator Mobile App
Jeremy Thompson, who works with Ben at LSF, has agreed to be our developer for this app. He has taken all of the information from the GSC website and produced a Google Sheet that forms the skeleton of the constantly-updating database necessary for the app. He turned addresses into coordinates to get points/flags on the locations. The PCL restrooms were just added to the GSC website, so the database already needs to be updated (exciting to see more accommodations available for the UT community!). It should be easy to turn the spreadsheet into a database. We are hoping to work with TIS to figure out the best way to do this. Additionally, Jeremy has built in floor plans for the buildings where the all-gender restrooms are located, which will give highly detailed information for anyone searching for a particular restroom location.

We are still discussing adding an #Illgowithyou site to the app, and whether we want to collect data on user preferences for all-gender restroom signage through the app.

DASIG’s subcommittee on all-gender bathrooms will continue with design, content, and navigation, having meetings as needed. Ben will set up a Box folder for DASIG members to provide feedback on the design, etc.

This was a very full meeting, and we hope to address the grant opportunities for a diversity residency position and brainstorming for the DASIG annual event at the September meeting.