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Gender identity, expression added to non-discrimination policy
Gender identity, expression added to non-discrimination policyJanuary 12, 2005Michele Barrettmibarret@syr.edu
The Office of Human Resources, in conjunction with the University Senate Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Concerns and the LGBT Resource Center, has announced that gender identity and gender expression have been added to Syracuse University’s Non-Discrimination Statement, effective immediately. According to the statement, which is published in the University’s Administrative Policy Manual, SU “has a policy of employing, advancing in employment, and otherwise treating individuals without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by law. The University prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.”
Syracuse University joins a growing list of colleges and universities, including American University, Columbia University, Emory University and Stanford University, among dozens of others; and corporations such as Verizon Wireless, Xerox and MetLife, in making a commitment to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression and to recognize the unique needs of transgender students, faculty and staff. The 2003 “National Campus Climate Study on LGBT People” reported that transgender people experience high levels of harassment, which interferes with their ability to learn and inhibits access to all aspects of campus life.
Transgender people, broadly described, are individuals whose gender identity or expression does not match or is not perceived to match gender norms associated with their assigned birth gender. The term transgender may include, but is not limited to: Transsexuals, intersex people, cross-dressers, mannish women and feminine men. Transsexual people may identify as female-to-male, male-to-female, male or female; and may or may not choose to alter their bodies hormonally and/or surgically.
This announcement follows more than a year of public education and awareness-raising, sponsored by the University Senate Committee on LGBT Concerns and the LGBT Resource Center, about the lives, experiences and concerns of transgender people. To provide support for this inclusive non-discrimination statement, the LGBT Resource Center will offer a training session during the Spring 2005 semester for staff and faculty members who will need to know how to develop inclusive practices regarding transgender people on campus; more details of that training will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information, contact the LGBT Resource Center at (315) 443-3983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.