Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
Late yesterday, the U.S. Education and Justice departments released a joint statement that rescinded previous guidance issued in May 2016 that provided protections for transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. While the decision to rescind this guidance doesn’t come as a surprise, we do understand that it is incredibly disheartening and threatening to members of our community who are transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and allies.
It is important for everyone to remember that California state law is more specific than the current interpretations of federal law in protecting students from discrimination based on gender identity or expression. Also, Harvey Mudd College’s own Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Misconduct and Retaliation clearly prohibits discrimination or harassment based on several factors, including: sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, or gender (including gender identity and expression).
I want to remind students who may be impacted by this recent decision, or who may have friends or family members in other areas of the country who may be affected, that they can reach out to several resources here at Harvey Mudd and within The Claremont Colleges for support. Dean Q and Dean Michelle in the Office of Health and Wellness and Dean Sumi and Dean Zack in the Office of Institutional Diversity are available, as well as any of our proctors or on-call deans. The Queer Resource Center is also available for additional support or help in processing this news. The QRC will remain open late Friday, Feb. 24, from 6-7 p.m. to provide additional support. You may also contact Al Forbes, interim director for the QRC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harvey Mudd has pledged to work toward diversity and inclusive excellence for all members of our community. As part of our commitment, we have taken many steps to support our students, including expanding the number of gender-inclusive restrooms available on campus as well as expanding support for the offices of Institutional Diversity and Wellness in the Division of Student Affairs. We continue to focus on our shared goal by constantly evaluating opportunities to expand offerings in these and other areas.
As a community, we strongly reject discrimination in all its forms, and we pledge to work together so that we may better address the challenges facing society today.