Official statement in response to the withdrawal of federal protection for transgender rights

by University Communications,

Yesterday, the Trump administration rolled back federal protections granted by the Obama administration to protect the rights of transgender students. This action will in no way change Willamette University’s own policies.

Willamette University is firmly committed to equal protection, and the university’s official nondiscrimination policy has, for many years, included protection for gender identity and expression.

Willamette University is committed to the principle that its educational facilities, activities and employment opportunities shall be offered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, veteran status, actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or status with regard to pregnancy, disability or age.

“We believe deeply in the values expressed in our nondiscrimination statement and oppose any efforts that would limit equal access or jeopardize the safety of any member of our community — including transgender students, friends and allies,” said Willamette University President Steve Thorsett.

Members of our campus community — especially students and student groups — have worked tirelessly in recent years to create a safer and more inclusive campus environment for transgender students. This includes gender-neutral restrooms and residence halls and additional support services and resources for trans students. This work is important and ongoing.

Willamette University stands with campuses across the country that seek to make their institutions welcoming to all and encourages community members to make their voices heard in taking a stand against any form of discrimination.