Photo by Dina al-Zu’bi ’19
See Me, Know Me
For a week in March, the faces of trans and nonbinary students gazed down from the walls of the Jewett hallway gallery—rich, beautiful portraits captured by fellow students, captioned with names and the pronouns the subjects use, like “Kyiah Ashton ’19. She/they.” The exhibit was part of the student-planned Trans Day of Visibility Campaign that ran throughout the month. “Many trans and nonbinary students on campus experience misgendering on a daily basis and it is wearing on their mental health,” the introduction to the exhibit stated. As part of the campaign, students distributed pronoun pins across campus. “It’s vital to always ask about pronouns because it shows respect for everyone’s identity and builds a safe environment for all community members,” posters with pins said. Other events included training for faculty and staff on teaching and advising trans and nonbinary students, a keynote address for students by diversity consultant Nevin Caple, and a drag show and panel.
In March, Dean of Students Sheilah Shaw Horton announced upgrades to the office formerly called Disability Services, which has been renamed Accessibility and Disability Resources. The name change, Shaw said, was to better reflect the group’s primary goal—“to support and advocate for an educational environment that provides equal opportunities for access to all our students.” The dean also recognized people with disabilities as a population that has been traditionally marginalized and a group that “expands the diversity of our campus community.”
In order to make resources more available and increase advising hours, longtime director Jim Wice has been joined by a full-time assistant director, Anne Lamppa, who focuses on meeting with individual students, coordinating alternative testing and note-taking programs, and presenting workshops on campus. The group also now has an administrative assistant, Jessica Washak. A new accommodation information management system will allow students to register and request accommodations online. The system will also coordinate services and share student needs with faculty.