Trans Students at Smith--Issues
We would like to bring to your attention some of the pertinent questions and concerns with which transgender students at Smith are currently dealing:
- Problems exist with the administration and faculty due to their lack of education. Trans students need an educated staff to help resolve issues such as which pronoun the student wishes to be addressed by in the classroom (he/ze/she, his/hir/her, etc.), which name will appear on one's diploma and/or transcript (birth name or chosen/gender-appropriate name), etc. Also trans students face the fear of being asked to leave Smith for expressing (or transitioning to) their preferred gender.
- Currently transgender members of the Smith community aren't included/protected by Smith's non-discrimination policies with regard to their gender expression or identity. We would like to see a "gender identity"/”gender expression” clause added to the existing policies.
- Residence Life and Counseling Services offer little or no support for students dealing with a variety of gender-related issues. Further education is needed in this area for HR/RC's, HCA's, HONS, and counselors.
- The student body also lacks education on transgender issues. There is virtually no inclusion of transgender issues or transphobia in the curriculum, although sexism, classism, racism, and homophobia are dealt with more visibly in social and academic settings at Smith.
- We would like to be a part of the policymaking as well as hiring processes to ensure that future policies fully address the needs of transgender students and future staff members are fully educated.
- Smith’s current admissions policy is not inclusive to all women. We would like to be involved with the administration in a dialogue regarding the admission of transwomen to Smith.
- Some headway has been made in regards to obtaining gender-neutral bathrooms in academic buildings. However, more easily accessible gender-neutral bathrooms in academic as well as other buildings are needed to provide more safety to trans students.