Dear RAFO Members,

To recognize the Transgender Day of Remembrance (today, November 20), RAFO would like to let our transgender members know that we stand with you. You are protected by RAFO and Roosevelt University. The University “does not discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of its community against any individual on the basis of … gender identity [or] gender expression” alongside sexual orientation and other protected classes (“Discrimination and Harassment”). If you feel you have been discriminated against or harassed, please do not hesitate to contact us. RAFO is a safe space and will fight for you.

In addition, RAFO encourages members to support our transgender students. Research shows that transgender students have a 41% attempted suicide rate (Haas, Rodgers, & Herman, 2014).  Here are three simple things you can do to have a more inclusive classroom:

  • Ask for pronouns. Instead of calling attendance on the first day, have students fill out index cards or surveys that ask for preferred names and pronouns. Then, use their names and pronouns.
  • Address harassment. Stop transphobic behavior in your classroom and refer students experiencing harassment to the RU webpage for students who have a discrimination complaint.

  • Refer students to resources. The Howard Brown Health Center provides a list of local resources and guide to Trans and Gender Nonconforming Health that students may not know about.

If you would like to continue educating yourself on making your classroom a safe space, please take advantage of GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit and their resource guides for educators.


In Solidarity,

The Executive Committee