Monday, September 9, 2019

Snapshot of California Campus LGBTQ+ Centers

California leads the nation with the number of professional staff directing LGBTQ+ resources and services on college campuses: 15% of the 272 campuses in the U.S. and Canada  with LGBTQ+ centers are located in California. According to the Directory of Campus LGBTQ+ Centers37 centers serve 43 institutions in California.

Campuses hiring professional staff to direct LGBTQ+ services is still rare, found at only 8.2% of the 3,313 nonprofit higher education institutions in the U.S. California continues to lead the way, with 6 California Community Colleges since 2016 hiring for the first time professional staff. This accounts for all but two community colleges in the nation providing LGBTQ+ services. The newest LGBTQ+ center to open on a California campus with professional staff is at the University of San Diego.

Snapshot of California Campus LGBTQ+ Centers
September 1, 2019

15% of the 272 campuses nationally with LGBTQ+ centers are located in California.

37 centers serve 43 institutions:
  • The Queer Resource Center serves 7 institutions of the Claremont Colleges (CA).

Campus System
·      6 CCC– 5% of 114 campus system
·      13 CSU– 57% of 23 campus system
·      10 UC– 100% of 10 campus system

Center Type
·      30 (serving 36 campuses) Stand-alone LGBTQ center:A space you can walk into whose sole-purpose is providing LGBTQ services or resources, directed by professional staff or a GA.
·      2 Within Women’s or Gender Equity Office:Office includes staff whose job description specifically focuses on LGBTQ concerns.
·      3 Within Cross-Cultural or Diversity Office:Office includes staff whose job description specifically focuses on LGBTQ concerns.
·      2 Other:Staff position is housed within Student Life, a Wellness Center, or some other office.

Institution Type
·      Community College
·      Bachelor’s Conferring / General
·      Bachelor’s Conferring / Liberal Arts
·      14 Master’s Conferring
·      18 PhD Conferring / Research

Institution Affiliation
·      14 Private
·      29 Public

Institution Enrollment
·      Under 5,000
·      5,000 to 10,000
·      10 10,000 to 20,000
·      10 20,000 to 30,000
·      30,000 to 40,000
·      More than 40,000

Institution Attributes
·      3 Religiously-Affiliated Institution:campus administration answers to a religious institution.
·      0 Historically Black College / University:institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community.
·      9 Women’s College: U.S. institutions of higher education that historically only admit female students.
·      3 Resources Directed by a Graduate Assistant:a GA works 20 hours a week as the primary director of LGBT resources and services for the campus.
·      3 Student Government-Affiliated Center:office space and budget part of Student Government.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Campus Recreation Trans Inclusive Policies Round Up

When UC Berkeley unveiled its large-scale universal locker room in Fall 2018, they immediately set a national standard for inclusive facilities. The student-funded project with a price tag of $2.7 million is a dream for Rec Centers wishing to upgrade their facilities. Many Rec Centers are addressing the need for trans-inclusive policies and resources to encourage all students to access recreation programs and facilities.

While many California college campuses do not offer Universal Locker Rooms or only offer a single occupancy locker room, the CA Fair Employment & Housing Act includes gender identity as a protected class. The ACLU's interpretation of the Act is that:

In California, business establishments, non-profits, and government agencies that serve the public cannot discriminate based on someone’s gender identity or gender expression. [Cal. Civ. Code § 51(b)]
This includes:
  • Stopping you from using a restroom or other sex-segregated facility that matches your gender identity.
  • Asking you to provide ID to prove your gender in order to use a restroom or other sex-segregated facility, such as a dressing room or gym locker room.
Macalester College's Transgender Inclusion Policies for Intercollegiate Athletics, Club Sports and Intramural Sports Activities is available online as a PDF and provides a national model for trans-inclusive policies. Policies are reviewed annually by the Athletics Director and the Macalester Transgender Participation Advisory Committee (MTPAC). Topics range from guiding principles, NCAA policies on Intercollegiate Athletics participation, appeals process, confidentiality, club sports policies, intramural sports and PE classes policies, and inclusive expectations for participation in athletic activities (facilities, pronoun usage, travel accommodations, dress codes and uniforms, and education on gender identity and trans inclusion).

The University of Colorado at Boulder's Inclusive Facilities outreach includes videos for ADA equipment, Adaptive Climbing, All Gender Locker Rooms, and Ice Sleds & Walkers. Their goal is "to create a safe, accommodating, welcoming and open environment while providing equal, accessible and respectful opportunities for all."

Colorado State University's Campus Rec Inclusive Policies address asserted gender and non-gendered attire.
Asserted Gender Policy 
Individuals shall be permitted to participate in Campus Recreation programs, facilities, activities, and events in accordance with that person’s asserted gender identity.
 What does this mean in practice? 
  • Showing up for an event, program, facility, or activity is all you have to do to establish your gender identity and participate.  
  • No questions will be asked, no proof is required, come join us and play!  
Asserted Gender Intramural Policy 
Individuals shall be permitted to participate in Intramural Sports events in accordance with that person’s asserted gender identity.
 What does this mean in practice?
  • Showing up to play for a men's, women's, or coed IM team is all you have to do to establish your gender identity and play in that division. 
  • No questions will be asked, no proof is required, come join us and play! 
Non-Gendered Attire Policy 
In an effort to be inclusive of all personal workout attire preferences, Campus Recreation has an open attire policy. 
What does this mean in practice? 
  • Beyond our facility policies (i.e. no jeans, tennis shoes required, etc.), we do not require gender-specific attire within the Rec Center. Participants are encouraged to wear whatever attire honors their workout experience most, including sports bras, muscle tees, loose or tight-fitting clothing, etc. 
  • Within the aquatic facility, patrons are asked to wear attire designed specifically for swimming (no workout clothes). We also allow modesty shirts.
Iowa State University's Inclusive Rec outreach also states a trans inclusive policy regarding eligibility and participation in intramural sports:
All individuals shall be permitted to participate in the Iowa State University (ISU) Recreation Services Intramural (IM) Sports Program (i.e. Leagues, tournaments, etc.), and Sport Clubs program in a manner consistent with their gender identity. While sport programs are typically offered in gender-based divisions, ISU Recreation Services seek to provide opportunities for all students to participate in its programs inclusive of gender identity. If an individual or team is unsure of which division would be most appropriate in which to participate, please contact the Assistant Director of Intramural Sports or the Coordinator of Sport Clubs to help determine which division would most appropriately fit the participation needs of the individual or team.
Members of NIRSA may access discussion boards for helpful conversations amongst Recreation professionals.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

On LGBT Center Awareness Day, Two California Community Colleges Lead the Way In the CCC System

The Mt. San Antonio College Pride Center opened in 2016.

Every October 19, we celebrate LGBT Center Awareness Day, and in 2017 Sierra College (Rocklin, CA) and Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, CA) also celebrate supporting LGBTQ community college students with professionally-staffed Pride Centers on their campuses. When the Pride Centers opened in 2016, they effectively doubled the number of campus LGBTQ centers serving 2-year institutions in the U.S. Visit the Directory to learn more.

The campuses developed different models of support. Sierra College hired a full-time Student Engagement Specialist, Mo Merritt, to supervise student scholars staff in three engagement centers, including a Pride Center, Cross-Cultural Center, and Women & Gender Resource Center. Peer leaders rotate through the centers, creating intersectional equity-driven programming. For example, in their first year, students organized events such as “That’s the way the gender crumbles” – a conversation on gender identity and expression with ginger bread people. Peer leaders also staff the center’s front desk during open hours, with pro staff stationed within the space.

Mt. SAC’s model was to give 40% release time to their founding Faculty Coordinator in 2016, History Professor Kim Earhart. Kim coordinated special events with students, such as Harvey Milk Day and a Lavender Graduation. The Pride Center provides a space for students to find community and resources. In addition to the Coordinator’s hours in the Pride Center, other faculty volunteer their time to keep the center open more often. Mt. SAC’s new coordinator for 2017-18 is Professor Melinda Bowen. 

The two campuses also took different paths to opening their Pride Centers. At Sierra College, faculty drove the formation of an Equity Plan and Equity Center, to improve the success of impacted student populations. The Pride Center already existed as a volunteer-run space, and the campus added the Cross-Cultural Center and Women & Gender Resource Center to create the three new engagement centers overseen by the Student Engagement Specialist.

Mt. SAC’s plan for a Pride Center rose out of the World Café Dialogue on LGBTQ Climate in August 2015. Over 30 campus stakeholders came together in dialogue to answer the questions:

  1. What are significant experiences or observations you can offer to help us understand the LGBTQ climate on campus?
  2. What in your wildest dreams can be done to improve the LGBTQ climate on campus?
  3. What steps should be taken immediately to make some of these dreams come true?  

The World Café Dialogue on LGBTQ Climate Summary Report of responses led to the development of the Pride Center a year later. Read the full report by clicking here.

Other California Community Colleges continue to address the needs of LGBTQ students through staffing and student spaces. MiraCosta College (Oceanside, CA) for example is hiring a new part-time LGBTQIA Equity Specialist. Los Angeles Valley College is developing a business plan for a staffed Pride Center. They recently launched a campus LGBTQ+ Resource Page.

CCC faculty staff, administrators, and students will be attending the CCC + LGBTQ Summit on November 11, 2017 at UC Riverside, with the opportunity to share models, equity plans, and best practices for supporting LGBTQ people at community colleges. Online registration is free until October 27.

Update: The LGBTQ+ @ California Community Colleges web site also recognizes 4 CCC campuses for offering LGBT centers that are volunteer-run: City College of SF, Los Medanos College, Palomar College, and San Joaquin Delta College.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

CSU Organizes for LGBTQ Resources & Support

Professional staff attending the CSU LGBTQ Resources Meeting
CSU Northridge hosted the first CSU LGBTQ Resources Meeting on January 15, 2016. Thirty professionals staff and eighteen students attended from 17 of the 23-University system.

Topics included consistent LGBTQ policies across the CSU system,a CSU Mentor optional LGBTQ question, and trans student-inclusion on every campus. The meeting addressed the need for preferred name options, gender-inclusive facilities, gender-inclusive housing options, and access to hormones.

Participants are developing a list of recommendations to present to the CSU Chancellor's Office to support LGBTQ students across the system.

The next CSU LGBTQ Resource Meeting will be in Summer 2016. For more information, contact Sarina Loeb, Coordinator of CSUN's Pride Center & LGBTQ Initiatives.

Currently, 11 CSU campuses offer a staffed LGBTQ center.

Campuses in attendance:

  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
  • California State University, Bakersfield
  • California State University, Chico
  • California State University, Dominguez Hills
  • California State University, East Bay
  • California State University, Fresno
  • California State University, Fullerton
  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • California State University, Monterey Bay
  • California State University, Northridge
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • California State University, San Bernardino
  • Humboldt State University
  • San Diego State University
  • San Francisco State University
  • San Jose State University
  • Sonoma State University

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

T*Camp expands to NorCal and New England in 5th year

T*Camp launched in 2012 as an intercampus retreat in Southern California.
After four years as the only intercampus retreat in the nation for trans/genderqueer and gender-questioning college students, three T*Camps will be offered in 2016.

SoCal T*Camp, set for January 8-10, 2016, is now accepting applications online from California college students. In addition, students from 5 Northern California campuses may apply in January 2016 to attend the new NorCal T-Camp, to be piloted later this academic year. New England T*Camp will open applications this Spring for college students in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. NE T*Camp is scheduled for October 2016.

Campus LGBT center staff at San Jose State University, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Merced, and UC Santa Cruz are collaborating to pilot the inaugural NorCal T-Camp. Not only will NorCal T*Camp be more geographically accessible to students in the region, offering two California retreats will also expand the number of students benefitting from the experience.

“Each of the past few years, over 100 California students have applied to attend T*Camp,” says Nancy Jean Tubbs of UC Riverside’s LGBT Resource Center. “Due to space limitations, only about half of interested students could join us on the mountain.”

New England campus staff, including former T*Camp facilitators, began working on their own regional T*Camp retreat earlier this year.

“NE T*Camp will create a safe and affirming space in which students can together, and individually, explore their gender and gender identity without fear,” says Keith Waak of University of Massachusetts, Boston. “We want to utilize this program to educate and encourage dialogue and growth within, and around, trans* community members and their allies.”

T*Camp has its origins in a 2011 UC Irvine retreat for trans/genderqueer and gender-questioning students. In 2012, the intercampus retreat was launched as a way to build community for often isolated college students. Today, SoCal T*Camp is co-facilitated by campus LGBT center staff, returning student T*Campers, and trans/genderqueer community mentors.

NE T*Camp organizers point to the scholarship of Sylvia Hurtado and Deborah Carter, who wrote that involvement, engagement, and affiliation are central to students' development and progress in college. And Peregrine Silverschanz theorized that students' educational success is strongly influenced by the "context of the attitude toward their education...including their sense of school and social 'inclusion' and 'exclusion.'"

“We want to create a social network and sense of belonging among students to emphasize support, care, and personal development long after the retreat has ended,” says Van Bailey, director of Harvard’s Office of BGLTQ Student Life.

The T*Camp program model is available on the LGBTQArchitect website by entering “T-Camp” into the search bar.

For more information, please email: - SoCal T*Camp - NorCal T-Camp - New England T*Camp

Sunday, September 20, 2015

State of Community Colleges LGBTQ Resources & Services

"The Queer and Now Conference was held at De Anza College on Tuesday, June 2, 2015. This annual conference featured student performances and workshops led by speakers from the larger Queer community."

With 114 campuses, the California Community College (CCC) system is the largest in the nation. In a few key areas, CCC is advancing support for LGBTQ students' success, partly influenced by AB 620 (2011). This assembly bill amended the Education Code to encourage (but not require) CCC campuses to collect aggregate data on sexual orientation and gender identity of students and staff; and to designate a staff point person "to address the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender faculty, staff, and students." The only existing system-wide entity for LGBT issues is the LGBT Caucus of the CCC Academic Senate. [Note: An October 2015 email communication stated the Caucus is "defunct and inactive."]

Since September 2013 (before the UC and CSU systems), the online CCC admissions application has asked voluntary sexual orientation and gender identity demographic questions. Currently, no mechanism is in place to access this data to track student success and possibly make the case that CCC Student Success & Support Program funding should be used to help at-risk LGBTQ students. SSSP funds support students experiencing "disproportionate impact," which on most CCC campuses means assisting groups based on disability, financial aid status, former foster youth status, race/ethnicity, and veterans status. AB 860 (2014) requires CCC districts to maintain a student equity plan for the above target groups, but not for LGBTQ students.

Sierra College, however, is setting a precedent by hiring a full-time Director / Program Manager for three student engagement centers: a  Cultural Center, Pride Center, and Gender Equity Center. According to the Campus LGBTQ Centers Directory, Sierra College will join Century College (MN) and Community College of Denver (CO) as the only community colleges in the nation with professionally-staffed LGBTQ centers.

Other CCC campuses are also setting standards for LGBTQ student support:

The Los Medanos College Q*Spot, the Palomar College Pride Center, and the City College of San Francisco Queer Resource Center are CCC spaces for LGBTQ students, although none are professionally staffed. The Fullerton College Cadena Cultural Center includes LGBTQ resources. Although not offering a physical space for LGBTQ students, Sacramento City College offers an excellent one-stop web page for LGBTQ resources.

San Joaquin Delta College in 2011 heard a proposal for a Delta Pride Space at the Facilities Planning Meeting. Campus officials stated that physical space for instructional purposes take priority and that the State does not fund student centers. Campus officials promised to search for a shared space for a Diversity Center, although no such space appears to exist four years later.

Imperial Valley College (LGBT Designee), Irvine Valley College (Campus Liaison for LGBTQIA Issues), and MiraCosta College (Campus Liaison for LGBTQIA Issues) created an LGBT Designee position following the authorization under the California Education Code (Section 66271.2). However, Imperial Valley College does not name the person or contact acting as the Campus Liaison. 

Santa Rosa Junior College established a President’s Advisory Committee on LGBTQ Campus Climate; and De Anza College founded an Equity Action Council that includes a Gender & Sexualities Advisory Group. Other campus committees are also addressing LGBTQ issues: The Glendale Community College Student Affairs Committee minutes from March 18, 2015 includes the establishment of a Task Force to address transgender student services. The Sacramento City College LGBT Subcommittee of the Student Equity Committee is a task force focused on LGBTQ issues on campus.

Sierra College's Spectrum Committee of their Academic Senate is "a formal body whose mission include[s] improving the success and retention of Sierra College’s LGBTIQ students as well as ensuring them a safe campus climate."

Also on the academic side, City College of San Francisco offers an LGBT Studies Major; Napa Valley College's Child and Family Studies offers an LGBT Studies Certificate Program; and Sierra College offers an AA degree in LGBT Studies. Other campuses offer at least one LGBT Studies course: College of Alameda - Humanities 60: Introduction to LGBTQ Studies; Butte College - English 26: Queer Film and Literature; De Anza College - Intercultural Studies 26: Introduction to LGBT Studies; Foothill CollegeEnglish 5: Gay & Lesbian Literature; and Pasadena City College - English 058: Queer Studies in Literature (beginning 2016).

Allies, Safe Space, and Safe Zone projects are found on many CCC campuses, offering training to staff, faculty, and students on LGBTQ issues and resources and raising visibility of campus LGBTQ support. Some campuses mention staff/faculty training on Flex Days, or train-the-trainer opportunities. Others provide a permanent web presence:

Other noteworthy LGBTQ initiatives by CCC campuses include:
  • De Anza College hosted the Queer & Now Student Conference in June 2015. The events were sponsored by the Office of Equity, EAC Gender & Sexualities Advisory Committee, the Black Leadership Collective, and African American Studies Department. About 300 people attended the conference.
  • The MiraCosta College Gay Straight Alliance endowed an annual $1,000 GSA Student Scholarship in 2014, by raising more that $25,000. In 2015, the MiraCosta College Inter-Club Council purchased rainbow tassels and stoles for graduating students. The request for funding highlighted NEA statistics on homophobic campus climates and the need to create an inclusive and welcoming campus that values diversity.
  • The Gay & Lesbian Association of District Employees (GLADE) serving Cypress College and Fullerton College (North Orange County Community College District) established a scholarship for students active in the LGBT community
  • The Lake Tahoe Community College Board of Trustees supported a faculty member's professional development leave in which she learned about issues of sexual orientation as they relate to career decision making and development. She reported back at the March 12, 2013 Board of Trustees meeting.
  • The Student Senate for CCC hosted the first conference of the Spectrum Caucus in 2012, according to the May 14, 2012 Weekly Mission STEM newsletter of Los Angeles Mission College. However, the current SSCCC web site makes no mention of the Spectrum Caucus or any other LGBT entity.

Finally, a grant through the California Mental Health Services Authority provides free online training to support at-risk students via Kognito for all CCC campuses. Modules include LGBTQ on Campus for Faculty & Staff; and LGBTQ on Campus for Students. However, a survey of all 113 CCC campuses show that many do not offer any of the Kognito trainings or do not mention the LGBTQ modules (even though other modules such as Veterans on Campus are highlighted). The free LGBTQ modules are available through 2017.

A note on this blog post: Nancy Jean Tubbs, Director of UC Riverside's LGBT Resource Center, took this inventory of LGBT services and resources on CCC campuses by accessing web sites between July 3 and September 18, 2015. No effort was made to contact individuals as a follow-up to accessing web information, so this inventory is limited to what CCC campuses choose to include on the internet. Please contact Nancy Jean Tubbs to correct errors.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

University of California Admissions Application adds gender identity & sexual orientation voluntary questions

Starting Fall 2015, the entire University of California system will begin collecting data on UC freshman and transfer applicants to the nine undergraduate campuses regarding sexual orientation and gender identity through voluntary self-identification. Read the UC Press Release.

 These students will enroll in Fall 2016.  The questions are asked in this way:

Gender Identity
1) How do you describe yourself? (Mark one answer)
 Male
 Female
 Trans Male/Trans Man
 Trans Female/Trans Woman
 Genderqueer/Gender Non-Conforming
 Different Identity

2) What sex were you assigned at birth, such as on an original birth certificate? (Mark one answer)
 Male
 Female

Sexual Orientation
1) Do you consider yourself to be (mark one answer)
 Heterosexual or straight
 Gay or lesbian
 Bisexual
 Not listed above (please specify) __________

"We will have data from the approximately 193,000 students who apply for the UC. This means we will have meaningful population data for approximately 92,000 freshman students and an additional 20,000 transfer students who accept and enroll," says UC San Diego LGBT Resource Director & Diversity Officer Dr. Shaun Travers.

"With this data, we can target resources and other student support services, such as scholarships and themed housing" says Travers. "This data will also enable campuses to develop curricular and co-curricular offerings that reflect students’ diverse perspectives, and that promote a safe and welcoming learning environment for all students."