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Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000
File 011
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Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000 - File 011. 2000-01-21. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 16, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1081/show/1062.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2000-01-21). Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000 - File 011. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1081/show/1062

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000 - File 011, 2000-01-21, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 16, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1081/show/1062.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1004, January 21, 2000
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date January 21, 2000
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 011
Transcript 10 LOCAL NEWS JANUARY 21, 2000 • HOUSTON VOICE University quietly approves domestic partner benefits ** Continued from Page 1 for more than a year to get the university to move ahead with the benefits. "It was a matter of the committee both educating the university about the situation and working with the administration to get the benefits approved," he said. Attracting job applicants The new benefits will not only help those already employed by the university, but they could help attract job applicants. Lynn Huffer, chairwoman of the committee on which Beckwith served, said her offer of a job at Rice a year ago left her in a difficult situation because her partner is a graduate student uit Yale University in New Haven, Conn. Her partner could get benefits from Yale, but they could only be used when she was at Yale, leaving her to choose between benefits that would not apply when she was in Houston writing her dissertation or no benefits at all. Her partner chose to make do without the benefits. "This was an issue for me when 1 was first hired," said Huffer, who holds a joint professor position with the French Studies department and the Program for the Study of Women and Gender. "It made the decision to take the job at Rice more difficult." To address the lack of benefits, Huffer almost immediately created the informal committee to try to persuade the university to offer domestic partner benefits. Beckwith's partner has benefits through his employer, but Beckwith said the availability of benefits could have helped his partner during the time he was looking for a job in Houston. The benefits also help demonstrate a commitment to diversity by the school, Beckwith said. "It is nice to know that now we truly can get the best caliber people," he said. Beckwith, one of three people who met with Rice president Malcolm Gillis on the issue, said Gillis played a key role in getting the benefits approved by trustees. "Once he realized how the lack of benefits impacts employees and potential employees, the president was instrumental in getting the benefits," Beckwith said. Why now? The board of trustees of the private, 3,300-student university unanimously approved the benefits during its December meeting, after considering a number of factors, said Kyle Cavanaugh, associate vice president for human resources. The factors included trustee support for Rice's 1990 policy on nondiscrimination, and the fact that the university's nepotism policy already includes domestic partners in its definition of relatives, he said. Cavanaugh said the upheaval in the U.S. health care system has made insurance benefits an increasingly important factor in recruiting and retaining employees. The informal committee chaired by Huffer played a role in the university's decision, but there is no one reason why the university made the decision now to offer the benefits, said Terry Shepard, vice president for public affairs. "I don't think there is an answer to 'why now?'" Shepard said. "There wasn't a triggering factor." There was a consensus on campus that the benefits were needed, he said. Employees can sign up for the benefits during the university's normal enrollment period for health benefits in April. The benefits are effective July 1. The university's benefits committee had recommended the benefits in 1995, but they were not approved. The Faculty Council, the Staff Advisory Council, the Student Association and the Graduate Student Association had all previously endorsed the now-approved benefits. Who receives the benefits? University students have been able to purchase benefits for their domestic partners for more than a year. Undergraduates and graduate students can choose to be covered under a plan that is available through the university, but not affiliated with the school. Approval for the student benefits came more quickly because there was no impact on the school's budget, officials said. Faculty and staff will be required to pay a portion of the insurance cost for their domestic partners, but the costs will be the same as those incurred by married employees who put their spouses on the university plan. University officials predict the cost to the school for providing the benefits will be very low. Their research, which is consistent with research conducted by gay and lesbian groups, found that very few employees are likely to take advantage of the benefits. Benefits will be available to the established domestic partners of both gay and non-gay university employees, but the university has yet to define "established." Cavanaugh said the university will likely follow the model established by other schools like Duke and Stanford. The definition could include four points, he said: a minimum age; demonstrated financial independence, like joint checking accounts and jointly owned property; the fact that the partner is the employee's sole partner; and the couple's intention to remain partners. "We expect to follow what are increasingly becoming standard practices around the country, so our standard should be the same as other universities," Cavanaugh said. engaged Chat | Personals | News | Travel | Entertainment | People rfc PlanetOut.com wivw.planetoulcom | AOL Keyword: PlanetOut engage -;■ enjoy For Auto, Home & Health Your Community Insurance Agency! Regina Rob Schmerler & Staff 713.661.7700 Business Insurance * Workers Compensation Group Health • Life Insurance & much more 6575 W.toop South, Suite 185 Bellaire, TX 77401 Paving the Way in Y2K / have an opponent and we are kicking off Danhurg Campaign 2000. I appreciate and look forward to your continued support. 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