How to support trans and non-binary students in the admissions and registrar offices

January 8, 2019
  • Advocacy
  • Competencies
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Gender
  • Professional Development and Contributions to the Field
  • podcast
  • student identity
  • transgender
  • Work groups
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In the second episode of AACRAO's Admit It podcast, host James Miller talks with Dr. Genny Beemyn, Director of the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts, about the needs of Trans students on campus and in the admissions process.

As noted at the beginning of the podcast, news broke this fall that the Trump administration is considering implementing policy that would direct government agencies to adopt an explicit and uniform definition of gender as determined by a person's genitals at birth, effectively erasing transgender people. This news demonstrates "the clear and present relevance of this conversation," Miller said.

Among many topics addressed during the hour, Dr. Beemyn elaborates on some of the many issues facing trans students, beginning with the college search.

"Many colleges still don’t have a significant number of trans-inclusive policies and often don’t publicize them well through their websites and admissions brochures," Beemyn said. So transgender students cannot learn what sort of support -- if any -- exists on many campuses, such as:

  • Will they be able to use their preferred name and pronoun on campus?
  • What kind of campus housing, locker rooms, and bathroom policies are in place for trans students?
  • Do the healthcare and health insurance policies support Trans students?
  • What is the overall climate toward trans people on campus?
Beemyn's work on the Campus Pride Index, an LGBTQ+ benchmarking tool of campus inclusivity, illustrates the kinds of issues trans students face when selecting a college.

In addition to the topics above, the interview covers topics including the progress of LBG students vs. trans students; the "we don't have any trans students here" fallacy; and best practices for inclusive recruitment and admissions practices.

Listen to Admit It: Episode 2 on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and many other podcast services. Just search “Admit It AACRAO” in your favorite podcasting service.

AACRAO's Student Identity Work Group
Miller is a member of AACRAO's Student Identity Work Group, which is currently finishing up work on a report making the case for inclusivity. The report will offer a series of practical recommendations for inclusive practices for campuses at any stage in the process, as well as discuss opportunities for advocacy.