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Colgate University Correspondence


LGBTQ Initiatives Update

By Contributing Writer on April 4, 2016

Dear members of the Colgate community:

Over the last several weeks, many have been working hard to expand the access, visibility, and resources available to individuals of all gender identities. I am grateful for these efforts and write to share an update.

Personal Gender Pronouns: Personal pronoun usage is a way that people express gender. Presently, Colgate’s preferred name service allows individuals to identify their preferred first name when it differs from their legal name. Now, in an expansion of this service, individuals can also indicate their preferred personal gender pronoun on the portal. Preferred names and personal pronouns will both be visible in the Colgate viewbook, course rosters, and online dashboards used by administrative deans, faculty, and coaches and others.

One way we can all play a part in the ongoing work of creating an inclusive campus climate is by normalizing the visibility of gender identities and expressions. I invite all members of our community to log on to the Colgate Portal and use the drop-down menu in order to share your personal gender pronouns. These screen shots of the portal demonstrate where this information can be entered and the options available for both staff and for students.

Education & Training: All members of the community are encouraged to attend a Safe Zone workshop offered by the Office of LGBTQ Initiatives. The next training will be held at the Center for Women’s Studies at 7 pm onApril 5. The office also offers educational materials on the gender binary, including this guide to gender pronounsand an FAQ.

Facilities & Infrastructure: Gender-inclusive restrooms have been installed throughout campus, and plans are underway to include gender-inclusive restrooms in new buildings and schedule spaces to be renovated.

Support: In Fall 2015, the Counseling Center expanded its offerings of therapeutic and peer-support groups to complement its individual counseling support for students who may be exploring sexuality, gender, and intersectionality of identities.

Programming: Queerfest, an annual showcase of programs and events that highlight the diversity of LGBTQ identities and lives is currently going on and will continue through April 6. Sponsored by a variety of campus departments and student organizations such as Advocates and Lambda, Queerfest includes an art exhibit, drag show, and national speakers. For more information, please contact advocates@colgate.edu.

These programs and services are among the ways in which Colgate aspires to make our campus more welcoming and supportive for all of community members. Special thanks to Assistant Dean and Director of LGBTQ Initiatives, khristian kemp-delisser (kkempdelisser@colgate.edu) and the work of many individuals who have contributed to these and other initiatives.

Suzy M. Nelson
Vice President and Dean of the College

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