Message to Students

diverse group of students holding hands

February 24, 2017

Dear Members of the Northwestern Community:

The Trump administration yesterday rescinded Obama administration protections for trans* students. The Obama administration guidance provided that schools should allow trans* students to participate in activities and access facilities, including bathrooms, consistent with their gender identity. I want to reassure members of our community, especially those who are trans* and gender non-conforming, that our support for them remains strong and that Northwestern does not plan to change our current procedures or practices as a result of this recent action.

In light of this action by the Trump administration, I would like to reaffirm what President Schapiro has said on numerous occasions: Northwestern is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive community for all, and that will not change. Members of our LGBTQIA+ community play important roles throughout Northwestern, and their contributions help make this institution a better place. Supporting our trans* and gender non-conforming students – and faculty and staff – is an important goal for the University, and one we work hard to achieve.

This is a time of great uncertainty in our country. The impacts of the recent executive orders are being felt in a number of important areas, and additional policy changes undoubtedly will occur. While some may prefer that Northwestern and other universities not engage in these societal issues, members of our community are being affected, so we believe it is important to do so. We will, of course, continue to focus on our key missions of teaching and research. At the same time, we will continue to support all members of our community.

Patricia Telles-Irvin
Vice President for Student Affairs