Queer, transgender organizations withdraw endorsement of ASUC Senator Romario

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The Queer Alliance and Resource Center, or QARC, revoked its endorsement of ASUC Senator Romario on Wednesday, citing dissatisfaction with Romario’s “professional and personal conduct,” according to a QARC statement.

Romario, who does not use a last name, has an official senate platform that includes representation of the queer and transgender community. Representatives from 14 QARC-affiliated groups held a vote of no confidence, according to the statement.

In their statement, the board cited dissatisfaction with Romario for allegedly not meeting individually with QARC-affiliate organizations and concerns with Romario allegedly misgendering community members and failing to consult with various community groups for events.

“While the endorsement is primarily a symbolic one, the title can be useful in establishing the authority to advocate for the Queer/Trans community on campus and leadership in QT issues in the ASUC Senate,” QARC’s statement said. “However, advocacy and leadership are possible outside of the framework of a QT endorsement.”

The statement also said that QARC and Romario’s office will continue to collaborate on various queer and trans-related projects.

In response, Romario released a statement on Facebook on Wednesday, expressing his disappointment with the decision and his intent to continue with queer and trans advocacy.

“I am not a perfect advocate. I know this,” Romario said in the statement on Facebook. “My entire purpose in the ASUC is to best represent and fight for queer and trans students, even when that means moving to the side when community speaks up.”

He added that he is willing to pursue restorative actions and published a feedback response form for his office, as well as shared his ASUC email.

Both QARC’s statement and Romario also mentioned a previous controversy from last month, in which members of the Palestinian community expressed dissatisfaction with Romario’s response to an offer for a trip to the Middle East. He also released an apology on Facebook after that criticism.

“I know any apology is empty without action,” Romario said in his Facebook statement on Wednesday. “However, I promise to further educate myself and to work diligently to better center the harmed community members as I serve the rest of my term.”

Kate Finman is the lead student government reporter. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the six-person QARC voting board voted to un-endorse Romario. In fact, a board of 14 QARC-affiliated organizations voted on un-endorsement.