University reaffirms support, protections for transgender Penn Staters

October 27, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – As members of the Penn State community have expressed concerns about the national climate for transgender individuals, the University remains unconditionally focused on preserving an atmosphere free from discrimination and violence for everyone on campus.

“We are committed to promoting and sustaining a campus environment that is safe and respectful for all members of our community, including those of all gender identities and expressions,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “The rights of all individuals — including LGBTQ people and all underrepresented groups — are fundamental to a climate of inclusiveness that allows everyone — students, faculty, staff and visitors — to work, learn and live in an atmosphere that is free of harassment, prejudice and intolerance.”

Barron continued, “We understand that members of our LGBTQ community may be concerned, or may feel vulnerable at this time of uncertainty. In addition to policies that prohibit discrimination and harassment in any form, Penn State has a number of resources available for transgender and gender diverse people.”

Segments of the campus community have voiced concerns amidst media reports stating that the Trump administration may seek to redefine gender in federal civil-rights laws.

Campus community members may find a number of resources on the Penn State Student Affairs LGBTQ+ community website, including University policies, campus and community support, reporting discrimination/harassment and how to get urgent help.

Existing University policies include AD 85 and AD 91, which describe the University’s commitment to providing equal access to programs, facilities, admission and employment for all persons, and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation in all forms. University Policy AD 84 also recognizes the need or preference for members of the University community to refer to themselves by a first name other than their legal first name and acknowledges that a “preferred name” can be used where possible in the course of University business and education. 

Transgender and gender nonconforming students who experience sexual or gender-based harassment, misconduct or violence can report incidents through the University’s Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response. Faculty and staff can report such incidents through the Affirmative Action Office

Last Updated October 29, 2018