The Trans* Committee at UNC Charlotte was brought together to investigate how to make this University a more inclusive environment for students who identify as trans*. The committee’s goals are to:
- Assess current campus policies and procedures to make them more accessible for trans* identified students.
- Assist trans* identified students with navigating the current campus resources.
- Ultimately work to add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the nondiscrimination policy at UNC Charlotte (Policy Statement #98)
Trans* is an umbrella term used to identify individuals who are transgender, transsexual, cross dressers, or are unsure of their gender identity. These individuals often transcend and transgress gender norms. They often find it difficult to navigate systems that are set up with only two separate gender options (male/female). Some trans* people seek medical and/or legal means to change their assigned birth sex or gender and some may simply identify or present themselves differently than their assigned birth sex or gender.
The Trans* Committee at UNC Charlotte has worked hard to make our campus more inclusive and more manageable for trans* students by providing them with the information, resources and tools to excel here at UNC Charlotte. The goal of this committee is actually not necessarily to change policy, but to simply be aware of how current policies affect trans* students. One of the most notable accomplishments the committee has assisted in is the creation of a one-stop website featuring information, resources, and departmental policies statements. In addition to this brief summary you will find an outline of notable accomplishments by the Trans* Committee as well as a listing of all committee members.
For questions regarding the Trans* Committee at UNC Charlotte please contact one of the interim Co-Chairs for the Trans Committee - Dr. Erica Lennon or Joshua Burford.
Notable Achievements 2010-2011
- Jessica Pettitt Consultant Visit (Grant Funded): In October 2010 UNC Charlotte’s Trans* Committee welcomed higher education consultant Jessica Pettitt to campus to discuss trans* issues and assist target departments on development of trans* inclusive policies. UNC Charlotte departments were represented from each committee member’s respective area and we also invited faculty/staff from Johnson & Wales University, Central Piedmont Community College and Johnson C. Smith University. The two day consulting visit was sponsored through grants from the Alliance For Full Acceptance and the Wesley Mancini Foundation. Jessica Pettitt says, “This is the first institution that has taken such an amazing investment in trans inclusion; two days and this many departments participating is just amazing.”
- Community Investment in Trans* Committee: The Trans* Committee connects UNC Charlotte to community organizations including Time Out Youth, the Charlotte Gender Alliance, and the Carolina Transgender Society. Members of these organizations attend meetings and are helping us to bridge the gap in support services between UNC Charlotte and the surrounding community.
- SGA Passes Gender Identity/Expression Resolution: In April 2011 the Student Government Association passed a resolution in support of adding Gender Identity and Expression to the non-discrimination policy outlined in Policy Statement #98. The resolution was brought to the attention of SGA Senate by student representatives of the Trans* Committee. Similar legislation has been introduced into Faculty Senate and is up for discussion and vote in Fall 2011.
- Trans* Support Group Launched: In April 2011, the Multicultural Resource Center launched a new monthly support group for trans* students and their allies. The monthly meetings offer students an opportunity to share information, stories, and connect. Community members from the Charlotte Gender Alliance, Time Out Youth, and the Carolina Transgender Society as well as UNC Charlotte’s Counseling Center have attended as guests so far.
- Trans* at UNC Charlotte Website: In August 2011, the Trans* at UNC Charlotte website launches with information, resources, and departmental policy statements for trans* students. The website will be housed with the Multicultural Resource Center with input from the Trans* Committee.
- Mara Keisling Consultant Visit: In September 2011, UNC Charlotte will welcome Mara Keisling to campus for some consulting work and a keynote campus event. Keisling is the founding Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality and she will be bringing her legal and policy focused background to assist with fine-tuning our own policies for trans* inclusion. This effort is funded by the Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund and the Multicultural Resource Center.
- Development of a proposal for Gender Non-Specific Housing and submission of the report to upper administration on campus
Formalization of Election process for Trans* Committee
Formalized the Preferred Name Policy for Students
Increased departmental representation on the committee
Provided training for on campus Health Care providers
Initiated development of a Critical Incidents Reporting Policy
Formed a sub-committee to expand availability of gender-neutral restrooms on campus
Originated a partnership with the Office of Disability Services to collaborate on restrooms that are both Gender Neutral and accessible
Transition of support group for Trans* identified students into the recognized student organization Transport
Confirmation of a single occupancy bathroom, shower, and changing space to be added to the Belk Gym; renovations to be completed August 2015
Created an official policy with Rec Services for Trans* students to participate in Intramural sports in the gender to which they identify.