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President Hawkinson Reaffirms Support of Transgender, All Other Students During Open Hour

President Hawkinson held his open hour with KU students today at the Alumni Auditorium in the McFarland Student Union Building.

The meeting, which is held each semester, allows Kutztown students the opportunity to discuss university topics with President Hawkinson and select members of his cabinet.

Approximately two dozen students attended today's meeting.  Topics discussed included student healthcare, protection of First Amendment rights, and questions regarding the transgender community in the current political climate. 

President Hawkinson spoke of his support for transgender students and reaffirmed his support of all KU students, citing statements he has made to the university community since his arrival in the summer of 2015:

"As an academic community, we cherish the expression of free speech and the robust exchange of ideas," Hawkinson said.  "The ability to engage in academic discourse in an open, honest and respectful manner is what makes us unique.

"Because we are a very diverse community, there will be differing views about policies now being put forth at the national level. However, we at KU will not support threatening and intimidating behavior. We will not tolerate discrimination or harassment in or outside our campus community.

"In my inaugural address I spoke of the attributes of an enlightened person: "These people are calm, settled, and rooted.  They are not blown off course by storms.  They don't crumble in adversity.  Their minds are consistent and their hearts are dependable... they display humility, restraint, reticence, temperance, respect, and soft self-discipline."  Let us all display these virtues as we move on to the next stage in the journey of our nation and our university."

In addition, a message was sent to KU students under President Hawkinson's direction on Monday regarding policies and protections of transgender students.