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.