Dear Campus Community,
Friday, March 31, marks Transgender Day of Visibility, a time to celebrate transgender and nonbinary people around the globe and to affirm the courage and resiliency that it takes to live openly and authentically. It is in this very spirit that I write to reinforce our campus commitment to our transgender and nonbinary students, faculty, and staff, as we work together to foster a more welcoming and supportive community where everyone is seen and valued.
In a recent meeting with the student leaders of Trans Wellness Alliance, a newly formed student organization, it became even more clear to me that the needs of our transgender and nonbinary students extend far beyond a single day of celebration. Students recounted incidents of marginalization in and outside the classroom, including deadnaming (being called by a name that is no longer theirs) and misgendering (having pronouns used that do not reflect their gender identity), leaving our transgender and nonbinary students feeling hurt, unseen and vulnerable.
Hearing this directly from our students compels me to seek your allyship as we work together to ensure that CSUN is a place where everyone is able to learn with dignity and thrive in our academic community. At the administrative level, we are updating our student information systems and business processes to support our students’ right to be identified by their preferred pronouns and preferred name. As we work through the operational complexity of making these changes, I encourage our faculty and staff to open channels of communication with our students to ensure that everyone is responsive to our students’ identities, and we can provide a more welcoming environment.
I am also aware of the need for more gender inclusive restrooms on our campus. We are in the process of updating our campus infrastructure master plan to include gender inclusive restrooms in all new facilities and we will be adding additional gender inclusive restrooms in existing buildings. We are also reviewing campus policy and processes to ensure we have effective mechanisms for reporting discriminatory behaviors and we are asking university leaders to expand the network of support for our transgender and nonbinary students across campus.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of University Counseling Services, which offers a transgender and nonbinary student support group. The Pride Center also offers transgender and nonbinary programming, including a discussion group to support and connect students with each other. Our campus-wide LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee will continue to work to understand the needs of students and employees, and will support us in leading change on campus. To learn more about our resources and programs for our transgender and nonbinary community and allies, please visit the Pride Center’s website.
While there is much to do, I am confident that as we continue to work together to ensure that all students are cherished and celebrated at CSUN, we will cultivate a campus culture of care and belonging for all. I look forward to sharing updates at the Fall Welcome Address.
Thank you for your partnership as we co-create a brighter and more equitable future for all Matadors.
ERIKA D. BECK, PH.D.
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8230
Pronouns: she, her, hers
Why pronouns matter.