Hold Salem College Accountable! We Need Trans 101s!

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To D.E. Lorraine Sterritt, President;

Susan Calovini, Dean of the College;

and the Board of Trustees 

                                                      At Salem College:

In light of the most recent “repeal” of HB2, there has been an immense need for trans students to feel more safe, valued, and comfortable on our campus and in our community. The need has existed for quite some time; however, HB142 (the "repeal") has exacerbated this need. One of the ways that we can achieve this is by training students, faculty, and staff to be more competent around trans issues through trans 101 trainings.

There have been many incidents on campus that involve students and non-students, specifically in regards to gender identity suppression. Non-students include faculty, staff, administration, all alumni, and the tourists that many students interact with on a daily basis. This alone should be enough to signal to administration that trans students here need more support and that there are ways that administration can step up to meet those needs.

It has been my effort to educate my peers, as well as people that exist within Salem’s community, on various issues and/or correct language surrounding gender identities across the spectrum. People need a better understanding of issues impacting trans students before a gender policy is considered. Upon consideration of a gender policy, it is extremely important that it is an inclusive one, not an exclusive one. That way, decisions can be more informed in order to serve those most impacted.

I would like to recommend that Salem College offer a Trans 101 training that students, faculty, and staff attend to create our campus community a safe place for everyone.  In addition to this, I am also asking that those working to develop and eventually implement a gender policy on Salem College’s campus must attend at least one of these trainings. It is extremely important the consideration of a gender policy is based upon a holistic understanding of trans identity and the social barriers that may come with that identity.

The purpose of this letter is to encourage the Board of Trustees to allow a transgender education trainer to educate the Board of Trustees, along with the rest of our campus community, first and implement a policy thereafter.



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