myBigfoot
Suggestions for Creating an Inclusive Campus
Working on Myself
Working on Behalf of Others
Working on My Campus Resources
Working on My Institution

Working on Myself

  • Respect confidentiality
  • Stay informed on LGBTQ issues and resources
  • Know your limitations. If you are uncomfortable dealing with an LGBTQ issue, refer the person to someone else.
  • Do not force LGBTQ people out of the closet nor come out for them to others. The process of coming out is one of enlarging a series of concentric circles of those who know. The process should be in the control of the individual until (and if) they consider it public knowledge.
  • View the creation of an inclusive environment as your responsibility, not the responsibility of individual persons who happen to be LGBTQ people. Always waiting for them to speak, challenge, or act adds an extra level of responsibility to someone who is already dealing with oppression on many levels.
  • Take the time to examine your own personal feelings about LGBTQ people
  • Be supportive of LGBTQ students because they add to the vibrancy of thought, activity, and life on your campus not because it is politically correct
  • Use the pronouns of the gender they feel themselves to be. If you are not sure which pronouns a person prefers, ask, “Which pronouns would you like me to use / do you prefer?” This is sign of respect and support.
  • If someone assumes that you are LGBTQI just because you are an ally, don’t rush to deny it. You might try to determine why someone is asking. If you feel a strong urge to deny it, examine that discomfort and the reasons behind it.

Working on Behalf of Others

  • Avoid language that implies that all people are heterosexual and either "single, married, or divorced." Use "partner" instead of "girl/boyfriend" or "wife/husband."
  • Immediately intervene when negative incidents occur, whether in the classroom, in the hallways, or anywhere on the campus. Note such incidents as harassment, put-downs, anti-gay jokes, graffiti, labeling. Challenge bigoted jokes and remarks.
  • Make your classroom/workspace gay-friendly by posting inclusive posters
  • Don’t tokenize out LGBTQ students in the classroom
  • Acknowledge the presence of LGBTQ people on campus and in society publicly, at high levels, and often
  • Help heterosexual/straight students to understand that LGBTQ people are a presence on campus and in society whether they like it or not. Heterosexual/straight students must learn to live peacefully with LGBTQ people.
  • When LGBTQ students are verbally assaulted, make official or personal statements in public venues condemning such action. When their belongings are vandalized, make official and/or personal statements in public venues condemning such action. When they are beaten up, make official and/or personal statements condemning such action. Empower others to do the same. If you know who the aggressors are, punish them judicially.

Working on My Campus Resources

  • Identify gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender contributions throughout the curriculum in history, literature, art, science, etc.
  • Advertise resources and events for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students
  • Buy materials for the library on sexual and gender diversity
  • At the Career Center, post information on national companies that provide domestic partnership benefits
  • Identify a counselor who has some understanding of LGBTQ issues who can serve as a confidential referral for students
  • Recruit and hire "out" LGBT staff and faculty. View sexual orientation and gender identity as positive forms of diversity that are desired in a multicultural setting. Always question job applicants about their ability to work with LGBTQ students, staff, and faculty.

Working on My Institution

  • Include issues for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students in the school newspaper, student government, peer training, and other appropriate student programs
  • Add gender identity/ expression to the college’s non-discrimination policy
  • Ensure diversity training for all staff. Compensate them for it. Give staff members time to discuss how their particular service function can affect LGBTQ students.
  • Ensure that Financial Aid staff has training on how the impact of student’s “coming out” at home can affect parents’ financial support
  • Add a statement regarding nondiscrimination as it relates to sexual orientation and gender identity to the Student Code of Conduct. Indicate where students should report if they feel harassed.
  • Address LGBTQ issues at New Student Orientation and make new students understand that LGBTQ students are a welcomed part of campus life
  • Ask the Director of Athletics to have a discussion with coaches about how homosexuality and homophobia affect athletes
  • All student service departments should periodically participate in structured dialogues with LGBTQ students to discuss issues of access. The purpose of this dialogue would be to raise awareness of the nature and extent of homophobia/heterosexism at SFCC and the particular unit, and to explore avenues for the problems related to the access and quality of services for LGBTQ students.
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