Gender Inclusivity and Tax Exempt Institutions

A picture of the sign differentiating a gender assigned bathroom from this gender inclusive bathroom.

In this American University (AU) poster the institution takes the first step to gender inclusivity by creating gender neutral bathrooms. Suzanne Tick in her article in the architecture magazine Metropolis describes ourcurrent society as one that is post-gender because gender identities are no longer fixed as male or female but are being obscured. Tick’s solution is to sensitize the male oriented

A picture of the sign of a gender inclusive bathroom.

design landscape that predominates and as an example lists companies and institutions who are promoting gender inclusivity in the workplace by neutralizing bathro
oms. Similarly, American University is blurring gender norms by creating these safe places or gender inclusive bathrooms where individuals can feel safe and accepted while expressing their individuality. Although a big part of the gender revolution is the universalization of the design landscape another essential part is the revolution of a culture that is accustomed to assigned gender identities. Tick in her article describes an instance that highlights how important it is to not only sensitize our design but our culture; in the example the author describes how both female and male coworkers reported to human resources that they did not feel comfortable with the presence of their transgender coworker using their same gender inclusive bathroom. Creating gender inclusive commonplaces
where people feel safe and accepted isextremely important but what use are they if societies culture doesn’t allow for their success? The success of gender inclusive bathrooms in American University is contingent on the acceptance of its students. It is evident that not all students are comfortable with the multitude of gender expressions that the gender revolution has brought because American University offers the option of a lock inside the bathrooms converting them from neutral spaces to into same gender spaces. I foresee AU becoming a gender inclusive university when they achieve sensitivity toward the obscurity of gender in the majority of their students.

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“Shall property owned by the University System of Georgia and utilized by providers of college and university student housing and other facilities continue to be exempt from taxation to keep costs affordable?”

    1. Sentence Root: Should property owned by the University System of Georgia be exempt from taxation?
    2. Keywords: Property, University System of Georgia, Tax Exempt, Affordability
    3. Rhetorical Analysis:

The University System of Georgia is composed of twenty-eight public higher learning institutions which are tax exempt. The Association of American Universities states that:

Private universities, as well as some public universities and foundations that support public universities, qualify as tax-exempt charitable organizations because they meet the requirements of IRC Section 501(c)(3), which includes “[c]orporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes . . .”.

This means that most public and private universities are considered charities by the International Revenue Service (IRS). On the one hand, many people argue that by narrowing the tax base by allowing tax exemptions makes everyone else pay more. To further their argument they reason that these charities enjoy local government services (roads, transportation, protection of police and fire departments) that they do not pay for. On the other hand, individuals pro tax exemption argue that these “charities” provide an essential service that in their absence would have to be supplied by the government. To strengthen their argument they justify that they are an essential part of the economy because their institutions employ thousands of people. Why is obtaining tax exempt status beneficial for public institutions? Tax exemption allows for universities to: maximize the services they provide society with because it means an increase in the resources universities can fund and charge students less. For these reasons, I agree that universities should continue to be considered as charities to qualify for tax exemption and keep costs affordable while maximizing the resources available to them.

 

 

Space Generates Opportunity

Shops on Milwaukee Avenue in Wicker Park, an affluent neighborhood in the Chicago community of West Town.
Shops in the Chicago Lawn, the ‘guetto’ of Chicago.

In chapter 8 “Toward a New Socialspatial Dialectic” of City of Rhetoric, David Fleming rhetorically explains the idea that space matters because the organization of it can lead to an equal field of opportunities for all individuals to express their rhetorical voices. More specifically, he argues that there exists a link between individual’s environments and their opportunities. For example, Fleming exposes that one side of the conversation believes that all environments are different and as such provide the individuals whom inhabit them different resources that determine their success. Fleming sides with this view because it explains the unequal distribution of opportunities for individuals. For Fleming, then, designing spaces that provide equal opportunities for individuals increases their possibility for success.

Why should creating an even playing field for individuals matter? The reorganization of spaces that provide all socioeconomic individuals equal opportunities contributes to eradicating the greater thought that chronic poverty is causes by poor individuals themselves. Even though creating spaces that even the playing field doesn’t guarantee the eradication of poverty it increases the chances for its decrease.

Works Cited

Fleming, David. “Chapter 8 Toward a New Socialspatial Dialectic.” City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America, SUNY Press, Albany, NY, 2009, pp. 179–194.

(Original Text with explanation of what was changed can be found below)

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