Willamette releases Transgender Inclusion Statement

Contact: Andrea Doyle Hugmeyer

The Trans Advocacy Committee shares new statement of inclusion for the Willamette University community.

The Transgender Advocacy committee was created in 2018 under the leadership of former Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Jade Aguilar, after President Trump reeled back protections for transgender students under Title IX. Committee participation was open to invested members of the university, with an emphasis on student involvement in order to better understand their needs and to establish committee priorities. Today, the committee has representatives from all colleges, ongoing student participation and staff members from a variety of departments across campus.

Some notable work has been accomplished since the committee’s establishment such as securing pronoun and gender-identity options in Workday and WISE/SAGE, conducting a general review of all gender bathrooms on campus, allocating resources to reconfigure restrooms so that an all-gender restroom is available in every building on campus, and updating our assessment tool on the Campus Pride Index site — we are currently rated at 4.5 after previously being a 3.

One primary project of the committee this year was to create a university Transgender Inclusion Statement. Collaboration and feedback was obtained by various stakeholders at the university through its development and we are excited to share it with our campus community.

The statement will be posted on university webpages and serve as a community value, point of reference and guiding principle as we review, develop and enhance policies and practices to cultivate an inclusive community at Willamette University.

Willamette University Transgender Inclusion Statement

Willamette University is committed to upholding the dignity and worth of all individuals. Creating an environment where everyone is free of discrimination and has an opportunity to be supported and valued is key to productive learning, along with personal and professional development. We understand that there are differences in a variety of personal identities, for instance as it relates to gender identity and expression. Willamette University is committed to aligning our practices, policies and campus environment to create a community of inclusion for transgender students, employees and visitors.

As an institution, we recognize that our history is tied to a white supremacist culture that has historically elevated the experiences, histories and traditions of cisgender people, among other privileged identities. Our hope for a future where all people are able to pursue their ambitions begins with an acknowledgement of how we, as an institution and as individuals upholding systemic policies and ideologies, have been a part of perpetuating this history and how it has created unnecessary barriers and emotional strife for transgender students, alumnx and employees.

We aim to be forward-thinking in our efforts to promote trans inclusion by listening to trans perspectives in our community, adjusting practices and policies for the well-being of trans people, offering support services and resources to our students, responding to complaints of bias or discrimination, and creating space for ongoing institutional accountability.

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