Members of the Oregon State University community,

Many are concerned about a change in guidance this week from the US Departments of Education and Justice to schools and universities regarding access to restrooms and facilities for transgender students.  This change represents a setback for the rights of transgender people that may impact students across the country. 

We are writing to assure our community that this change at the federal level will not change Oregon State University values or commitment to ensure an inclusive, safe and accessible university for transgender students and community members -- and all members of the OSU community.  As such, Oregon State will continue to pursue gender-inclusive policies and practices.

Additionally, the state of Oregon continues to demonstrate its commitment to inclusive access to facilities through the state’s laws and policies.

OSU demonstrates its commitment to civil rights, inclusivity and access in this area in many ways including:

  • The adoption of a name-in-use policy. The University believes it is important that while attending the University, students are called by the first name they choose to use, regardless of their legal name. This University policy is intended to enhance the wellbeing and academic success of transgender students by allowing an individual’s name to align with their gender identity.
  • The Task Force on Transgender Issues works to improve the University’s understanding of transgender issues and to propose initiatives to advance the wellbeing, safety and belonging of our transgender community members. The task force is reviewing current policies, practices and the OSU culture related to transgender students, faculty and staff and will offer recommendations to University leadership. Areas of focus include facilities, residential life, athletics and physical education, health services and counseling, and employment conditions.
  • The continued expansion of gender-inclusive restrooms and facilities throughout the university. A Corvallis campus map of more 125 gender-inclusive restrooms and facilities is provided here.
  • The campus participation in the #illgowithyou campaign led by the Pride Center. This program encourages people who identify as supportive allies to go into bathrooms or other spaces with people who may be concerned about their safety.
  • The work of seven student cultural resource centers, including the Pride Center, the Office of Diversity and Cultural Engagement, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, as well as other programs.

Oregon State will continue to provide updates on this and other civil rights matters on the OSU Home Page, as well as the websites of the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access, the Office of the Dean of Student Life and the Office Diversity and Cultural Engagement.

The new federal guidance points out that federal law continues to protect against any discrimination or harassment based on one’s gender (including transgender) status. Regardless of federal developments, we will remain vigilant in protecting against discrimination and harassment, both of which are unacceptable and are prohibited at Oregon State University. 

Sincerely,

Susie Brubaker-Cole
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Scott Vignos
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Office of Institutional Diversity