The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

The student led, student read news organization at Georgia Southern University

The George-Anne Media Group

President Marrero, Georgia Southern University, Responds to LGBTQIA+ Resource Rollback Allegations

President Kyle Marrero addressed the allegations that the University is allegedly removing LGBTQIA+ resources, and altering LGBTQIA+ focused events, and other supportive programs without notifying students, faculty, and staff.

These accusations first came to light earlier this week in an open letter written by BoroPride. You can find that first letter here.

Below are some of the major allegations the President addressed during a Faculty Senate meeting on Wednesday.

President Marrero Says We Don’t Have to Take Down Safe Space Logo, Rainbow Flags, and Stickers.

“I have not directed any flags to be taken down. I have not directed any stickers to be taken down. So all of that is untrue. No, nothing in any bookstores has been taken away, none of that.”

He goes on to explain that he will not make anyone remove anything from their offices or their email signatures regarding individuals who attended Safe Space training.

“Anything you have in your office is your office. Now, if you really want to get, you know legal on it, it’s all our space. And we can tell you exactly what to do. That’s not the environment I want to create at Georgia Southern…” “What you have in your offices is your space.”

We have reached out to the bookstore for comments. We are still waiting to hear back.

President Marrero Does Direct For One Piece of Signage to Be Taken Down

There was a poster that was released by the Counseling Center titled “Georgia Southern Provides Gender Affirming Care”.

President Marrero had an issue with the poster due to the inaccurateness of the title promoting the services the Counseling Center Provided.

“…If you have allergy shots, whatever you need to be administered… You can have it administered for you from your private physician’s prescription at the Health Center… but then brought together to say that we provide gender-affirming care. We don’t have the specialization. We don’t prescribe it. We don’t in essence monitor it. And and and so in essence, that just isn’t accurate.”

President Marrero went on to admit that he directed the sign to be taken down.. But that is the only signage he directed to be removed

LGBTQIA+ Focused Services are NOT Being Removed from Students

Dr. Marrero says all of the University’s services remain.

“We are committed to providing all health services that we have and continue at the Health Center for all of our students. Nothing has been changed in any of that.”

Dominique A. Quarles, Associate Vice President of Organizational Effectiveness, Leadership Development, and Inclusive Excellence, reinforced the President’s response.

Taking Down the Safe Space Website

During the Faculty Senate meeting, President Marrero reminded the group that Georgia Southern is a state agency, meaning that the University is governed by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, obligating us to adhere to and align with policy.

According to President Marrero, a new policy, along with the Georgia Southern website redesign, caused “Safe Space” to be removed from the website.

Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia’s newest policy reads:

“No institution training may include affirmations, ideological tests, or oaths, including diversity statements.”

President Marrero claims that during the renovation of the Georgia Southern website, thousands of pages were removed or moved.

He also claimed there was no “targeting” of specific websites, “there was no specific targeting of pages. It was, you know, going through and cleaning all that…”

During that meeting, Maura Copeland, Chief Legal Affairs Officer for the University,  went on to explain that the new policy is focused only on training.

“It’s only about training. It’s not about resources or services that we offer to individuals. It’s just about training….we have to make sure it’s compliant with the policies of the USG”.

Copeland went on to explain the legal attacks Safe Space is facing.

“Safe Space is the only training that I know of that we have had a lawsuit about within the USG. It wasn’t against us. It was against Georgia Tech. Is it being targeted? No, we reviewed the content of all of a whole bunch of trainings. It is the only one that I know of so far that we’ve identified concerns.”

Georgia Southern University’s Student Affairs Comments on the Accusations

Following the release of our article addressing the accusations being made against the university,  Georgia Southern University sent out a “general” email to students from Student Affairs stating their commitment to “maintaining a welcoming and inclusive environment that serves each one of our students and meets the needs of our students, faculty, and staff.”

The email also read in part, “All services and programs offered to our students “ including those offered by the Counseling and Health Centers “remain available to you, and there has been no change to these services and programs.”

What’s happening next:

President Marrero says that the University is putting together a team aimed at modifying the Safe Space training and that the new training will be re-released next fall.

The goal, according to the President, is to come back with something else that is in compliance with the current policy.

When asked for a University statement the Director of University Communications, Jennifer Wise, reinforced President Morrero’s comments regarding changes surrounding updates to the university website and Safe Space trainings.

“The university is undergoing a website redesign to provide an improved user interface and experience, streamlining content so that audiences can easily access the information they need… we recognize there is a need to provide training opportunities that speak to all members of our university community and provide education surrounding legally protected rights. To that end, we are in the process of creating a new training that will educate our community on values of civility and mutual respect, open debate and discourse, as well as individual freedoms and protections under the law.”

You can view the University’s entire statement here.

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Briyanna Thompson
Briyanna Thompson, Co-Editor-in-Chief, The George-Anne
Briyanna is the Editor in chief for the George-Anne. She is a Senior Public Relations major with a minor in Sports Management. She is from Decatur, GA, and she joined the George-Anne fall in 2021 to gain news experience and further her future career plans. She is interested in sports writing and loves listening to music. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Pi You can send news tips to her email
Carly Kennedy
Carly Kennedy, Writer-Content Creator, Deep Dive

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