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 113 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.

Since May 2014 (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 MiraCost College (Campus Liaison for LGBTQIA Issues) created an LGBT Designee position following the authorization under the California Education Code (Section 66271.2). However, IVC 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.

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."

Thursday, March 5, 2015

UCSC hate crime rallies students seeking better support

A University of California, Santa Cruz student was attacked on February 7, 2015 in an alleged hate crime based on sexual orientation.

According to a student petition calling for action, "the victim had their wrist broken in three places, and shattered in one place, broken knuckles, a fractured jaw, a dislocated hip, and suffered a concussion."

UCSC Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway shared a campus-wide email on February 12 that named the attack as a possible hate crime but did not specify sexual orientation as the motivation:
The gravity of this incident is disturbing, and the allegation of a hate crime is particularly troubling. As a campus, we welcome students, staff, faculty, and guests of all races, religions, ethnic groups, nationalities, traditions, backgrounds, orientations, physical abilities, and cultures. Targeting a victim because of his or her perceived membership in a particular group is unacceptable—and illegal. I want to assure the campus community that we are investigating this hate-crime allegation with the seriousness it deserves. 
The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported students' belief that the attack was hate-motivated based on sexual orientation:
“It was very clear that it was a hate crime because people who were there heard the attackers screaming slurs and saying things along the lines of, ‘You better not be gay. That’s not OK,’” Epstein said.
Galloway's email and follow-up staff communications emphasized campus resources available to students impacted by the alleged hate crime. Campus community members were also urged to report hate/bias crimes and incidents to campus police or online at

The student online petition includes four demands:

  1. multi-stall, all-gender restrooms within walking distance of all classrooms
  2. free self-defense workshops and classes available to all students
  3. mandatory University-wide workshops regarding "queer, trans, and gender non-conforming life, existence, terminology, and issues"
  4. hiring of multiple staff professionals, including a trans-specialist, to provide training, etc.

Of the 9 undergraduate UC  campuses, only UC Merced has less professional staffing to provide LGBTQ-focused campus services on campus. The Lionel CantĂș Queer Center is staffed by one full-time director, who is currently on medical leave.

On Facebook and other social media, UCSC students are speaking out about the hate crime, its impact, and the University response, especially in the context of other UCSC student protests against tuition increases. UCSC undergraduate student Avery's Facebook post has garnered peer support for expressing the emotional toll of the hate crime on students:
How f---ing long is it going to take for the violent hate crime at Kresge to gain a fraction of the public notice the six students protesting yesterday did? Already the petition to rally expulsion of these students has gained more signatures IN ONE DAY.
I hold so much pain and trauma on my back today, for myself and for the ones I love who are being told they don't matter. Through these consequences, we are told we don't matter. Our amount of money matters. Our bodies do not. Our obedience to the UC matters. Our pain and suffering does not. People of color do not matter. Queer people do not matter. Trans people do not matter. Those who suffer systemic, institutional physical/financial/gender/sexual violence do not matter.
I am TIRED of trying to go on and function as a student, as a student leader, as a young adult trying to learn how to be responsible and successful in this world and PRETEND as if all of this bullsh-- weren't happening all around me! I am so tired and so heavy. I almost want someone to tell me what to do with this body that has been made to feel so useless, so insignificant. 
But I know I can't. Anger and pain is the only feeling I embody today. I feel anger out of love. Pain out of love. Love for myself and the people I love, because we deserve more out of this f---ing world than we are getting. I feel angry out of compassion because I want more for us than this violence! So I'm going to hold on to this anger. I don't know where it's going or what to do with it yet but my body will not forget.


Prevent Hate Crimes at Santa Cruz - blog for updates Petition

City On A Hill Press

Santa Cruz Sentinel

KION News Channel

ABC Channel 7 News

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

T*Camp and Asterisk Trans* Conference serve campus transgender community & allies in different ways

T*Camp - InterCampus Trans* Retreat by application only

Asterisk Trans* Conference - open to people of all gender identities & expressions

Two unique events serve trans* people and allies on campus in different ways this academic year. T*Camp and the Asterisk Trans* Conference both focus on gender identity and expression. However, their audiences, format, and registration differ significantly.

The 4th annual T*Camp - an intercampus retreat for transgender, genderqueer, and gender questioning college students - will be held January 9-11, 2015. College students must apply to attend the retreat by October 30th. Last year, over 100 students applied to attend and about 55 students were selected.

Held for three days at a camp facility, T*Camp creates an intentional and courageous space for participants via home groups, break-out sessions, and community-building activities  The $140 per person fee covers transportation to the camp from a southern Californian college campus; meals including Friday lunch through Sunday lunch; and cabins and other camp facilities. T*Camp is facilitated by campus LGBT center staff and T*Camp alums.

The inaugural Asterisk Trans* Conference will be held February 27-28, 2015 at UC Riverside. The conference is open to people of all gender identities and expressions. Friday's events are  free and open to the public. Saturday's events, including a keynote, lunch, workshops, and closing performance, require a $20 or $10 registration fee. Currently, 12 college campuses can send unlimited participants under a Group Registration. Online registration opens in late October, and the deadline to submit a program proposal is November 15.

The Asterisk Trans* Conference is organized by Asterisk of UCR student group and the LGBT Resource Center with major support from the California Endowment. Its mission is to build community for trans* people and allies, to address trans* health and well-being, and to provide education and resources for trans* youth advocates. Anyone may register to attend.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Directory of campus LGBTQ centers launches online

The Campus LGBTQ Centers Directory launched online today, providing a new tool for finding professionally staffed campus resources in the U.S. and Canada.

According to the site, "The Campus LGBTQ Centers Directory is a project to document staffed campus resources regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. The Directory's purpose is to connect people with the offices and to further research on the state of the profession providing LGBTQ resources in higher education."

The Directory includes both a visual map and a listing with information on the center and the campus. Visitors can search by keyword, or search by criteria such as location, type of institution, public v. private, enrollment, religiously-affiliated, etc.

Inclusion in the Directory follows a standard set by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Directors, which hosted a similar directory in the past. Campus centers or offices must be staffed by a professional staff person or graduate student who works at least 20 hours a week providing LGBTQ services. Centers staffed by volunteers or undergraduate students are not included. Some exceptions are made for small enrollment campuses at which staff provide multiple functions.

The Directory was developed with support from the Calamus Foundation, and LGBTQ centers at The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of California, Riverside.

"Penn State has some of the most progressive policies and proceeudresfor the LGBTQA community in the country," says Allison Subasic, LGBTA Student Resource Center director. "We are supported by the administration 100% and we also wrote a grant which supports this project and the LGBTQArchitect."

Nancy Jean Tubbs, director of UC Riverside's LGBT Resource Center, currently maintains the online Directory. "It's always a work in progress," she says. "New centers open every year. Unfortunately, sometimes positions are eliminated, too. But since the Consortium was founded in 1997, the list has grown from 48 centers to over 240 campuses with professional LGBTQ services."

The Directory includes a history page listing the dates in which campuses first established professional LGBTQ services. However, 11 centers' dates of origin are unknown.

Based on the current Directory, 241 campuses are served by 233 centers in the U.S. and Canada. (One center serves 7 campus in Claremont, CA and one center serves 3 campuses in Denver, CO.) 150 or 64% are stand-alone LGBTQ centers, while 14 or 6% are located within a Women's or Gender Equity Center and 61 or 26% are located within a Cross Cultural Center or Diversity Office. Another 8 centers are housed elsewhere on campus.14 centers are directed by Graduate Assistants and 4 centers are affiliated with student governments.

The current institutional profile info is below.

Institutional Type
1 (less than 1%) = Community College
5 (2%) = Bachelor's Conferring / General
24 (10%) = Bachelor's Conferring / Liberal Arts
68 (28%) = Master's Conferring
143 (59%) = PhD Conferring / Research

85 (35% = private
156 (65%) = public

10 (4%) are religiously-affiliated

37 (15%) = Under 5,000
33 (14%) = 5,000 to 10,000
70 (29%) = 10,000 to 20,000
55 (23%) = 20,000 to 30,000
25 (10%) = 30,000 to 40,000
21 (9%) = More Than 40,000

55 = Great Lakes
26 = Mid-Atlantic
12 = Midwest
44 = Northeast
11 = Northwest
7 = South Central
34 = South/Southeast
52 = Southwest

California has the most centers: 29 centers serving 35 institutions.

States with no centers: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wyoming

Thursday, October 2, 2014

University of California system establishes permanent LGBT council and approves recommendations

The University of California Office of the President announced the formation of a permanent LGBT Advisory Council, as well as new support to include preferred names in student records and to mandate gender inclusive restrooms in new construction.

The actions by President Janet Napolitano follow a report from the Task Force & Implementation Team on LGBT Climate & Inclusion that included 8 recommendations regarding the collection of data on sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression; name change policies in campus computer systems; gender-inclusive restroom policies and practices; support for the bisexual community; cultural competency training programs; community-based counselors; enhancement of academic initiatives on genders and sexualities; and tax equalization of domestic partner employee benefits.

The conversion of single-occupancy restrooms to gender inclusive signage has been, until the UCOP announcement, a campus-by-campus issue. Some UC campuses also have not addressed yet the need for including gender inclusive restrooms in new construction. Likewise, so far only UC Davis, UC irvine, and UC Santa Cruz have implemented preferred names in student records. A UC-wide mandate to address these issues will advance trans-inclusion for all UC students, staff, and faculty.

Members of the new LGBT Advisory Council, which met for the first time in September, include representatives from all 10 UC campuses as well as from organizations such as the Horizons Foundation, BiNet USA, the Williams Institute, and the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

All 10 University of California campuses offer LGBT services as UC Merced adds LGBT Coordinator position

The youngest University of California campus, UC Merced, announced a new open position for Women's Program and LGBT Coordinator. All 10 UC campuses now offer professionally staffed LGBT service offices.

According to the job description, "The Coordinator will have responsibility for the programmatic development, support, service, education, and advocacy for the program areas of Women’s Programs and LGBT Initiatives."

UC Riverside was the first California campus to open a professionally staffed LGBT center in 1993. The other 8 UC campuses opened offices between 1995 and 1999. UC Merced became the newest UC campus when it opened in 2005. UC Merced joins 35 other California campuses with professional or graduate assistant-level LGBT services positions in 2014.

Learn more about the UC Merced position, including how to apply, here.

UC Merced's LGBT Initiatives-related job duties include:
  • Develops resources and networks through campus/community partnerships in support of the UC Merced LGBT community. Efforts will include support, resource services, education, and advocacy to, for, and about the LGBT community. 
  • Advises students on gender and sexuality concerns/services, including women's, lesbian, bi-sexual, gay, and transgender issues.  
  • Develop LGBT and social justice related programs, trainings, workshops, and provide support and advocacy on issues of power, privilege, and intersecting identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, etc. and increase campus-wide dialogue and understanding on topics related to the LGBT Community.  
  • Develop, a workshop/film/lecture series promoting LGBT awareness and the understanding.  
  • Serve on a campus committee providing insight, feedback and recommendations to University administrators regarding the LGBT community. 
  • Provide advice, mediation, and support to student organizations and student leaders. 
  • Coordinate and facilitate large and small-scale annual programs, activities, workshops, mentor programs, and signature events. 
  • Chair work-group and collaborate with other departments to develop and maintain Safe Zone Project. • Develops and maintains relationships with internal and external campus stakeholders critical to program success.

UC Santa Barbara is also searching for a new Director of the Resource Center for Sexual & Gender Diversity.