February 23, 2017

Dear Members of the Connecticut College Community,

Last night President Trump ended federal protections that have been put in place to shield transgender individuals from discrimination, primarily in K-12 educational settings, placing responsibility firmly in control of individual states. In Connecticut, a national leader in progressive policies and protections for LGBTQIA persons, we don’t anticipate significant change. We will be watching closely for any indications to the contrary. As with previous presidential actions, there has been ambiguity and confusion about the precise language and implementation of these guidelines. Still, I want to be clear that there is nothing ambiguous about our support—as a College—for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and asexual students, faculty, and staff in our midst.

Connecticut College strives to foster an environment free from discrimination and harassment. We are dedicated to providing a safe community in which students can live, learn, and work and have all of their identities affirmed. We have made a commitment to gender-inclusive housing, gender-inclusive restrooms, and preferred names, as well as to student, faculty, and staff health plans that include coverage for transgender healthcare. This inclusivity—a hallmark of the Connecticut College experience—will not change.

We are recognized nationally for our inclusive community and support we offer our LGBTQIA students. Our LGBTQIA Center, this year celebrating its 10th anniversary, provides a welcoming space, a resource library, and a robust and ongoing calendar of social events and programming that benefit all of us.

Erin Duran, director, has organized an open lunch meeting today at noon in the LGBTQIA Center (Burdick House) for those wishing to gather. Additional support is available, as always, through our professional staff in the division of institutional equity and inclusion, our counseling staff, our chaplains, and through the College’s Employee Assistance Program.

We remain committed to promoting a community that welcomes all students, faculty and staff and will continue to do whatever we can to ensure that every member of our community can thrive at Connecticut College.

Katherine Bergeron