4000-5-12Supporting Transgender and Transitioning College Community Members

Issue Date:
June 15, 2017
Replaces:
New

Upon request, the college will provide a copy of this policy in an alternate format.

Note: This policy has drawn from the Humber College policy HR111, 2015.

“Lambton College recognizes and confirms the right of every member of the College community to teach, learn and work in a safe and respectful environment free of harassment and discrimination. Lambton College is committed to providing a safe and respectful community environment.” (Policy 4000-5-3 Respectful College Community policy

Lambton College has the moral and legal responsibility, and the right and authority, to ensure that all members of the College community enjoy an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination on the protected grounds (Ontario Human Rights Code), which include gender identity or gender expression. This policy does not replace or derogate in any manner from the Respectful College Community policy, or other policies such as the Student Rights and Responsibilities and Discipline policy and Confidentiality and Privacy of Information and Records policy, but rather supplements them by specific reference to gender-based matters.

Throughout this policy, the term “transgender”, and variations on it, should be read and interpreted expansively to include individuals who are, for example, gender transitioning, transsexual, gender non-binary, gender non-conforming and gender affirming.

Policy

Scope

  1. This policy applies to all members of the College community: students, employees, members of the College Board, advisory committees, ad hoc committees, researchers, service providers, visitors, and any other individuals interacting with the College on an occasional or ongoing basis.
  2. This policy applies to all College premises and at all College-associated activities, and Internet communications and other off-campus conduct that engage the College duty to provide a safe and harassment-free environment. For further clarity, this policy applies to College-associated activities and functions including College-related social functions, College work, academic placements, field trips or academic related travel, etc., that occur off campus and involve members of the College community.

College Commitment

  1. Lambton College will take reasonable steps and measures to be supportive, understanding, respectful, responsive and accommodating of all members of the College community who have gone through, who plan to, or who go through gender transition, or are otherwise developing their gender identity or gender expression while at the College.
  2. The College will take every reasonable step to ensure that its learning, working and living environment is maintained consistent with the Respectful College Community policy, and no member of the community, for any reason - including gender identity, expression - suffers any degradation of the right to equitable treatment and opportunity free of discrimination or harassment.
  3. Every member of the College community - including transgender members - has a right to equitable treatment without discrimination in accordance with the provisions of the Ontario Human Rights Code and College policy, and the College will enforce those rights. The College will take appropriate actions and apply appropriate sanctions against individuals who are found to have engaged in harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender identity or gender expression, or who have failed to report such behaviour that is known to them, or of which they reasonably ought to have been aware.
  4. An individual(s) making allegations … that are found to be vexatious or in bad faith, or an individual(s) undertaking reprisals or retaliation against an individual for filing a complaint or cooperating in an investigation … will be subject to disciplinary action under the relevant College discipline policy. (Respectful College Community policy)

Privacy and Confidentiality

  1. All members of the College community have rights to privacy defined and protected by the law - Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) - and College policy - 2000-7-1 Confidentiality and Privacy of Information and Records. That right to privacy applies to information concerning gender identity, gender expression and transgender status. This information, as with any other personal information, may be disclosed only on the grounds set out in law and policy. Further, the intention of an individual to transition or the fact that the individual is going through a transition process must also be considered and treated as confidential information.
  2. Disclosure of any of the above information is prohibited without explicit and documented permission from the person except where such disclosure is necessary to protect the rights, safety or health of the individual, change documentation and records of the College, meet legal requirements, or manage expectations or inappropriate responses or actions from others within the College community. If such a disclosure is made, it must meet the highest standards of appropriateness, and must be limited to what is reasonably required to preserve a safe and respectful environment.
  3. Disclosing the gender information or transgender status or intention of an individual outside of the grounds permitted under law and policy is a breach of confidentiality and will be treated by the College as such, including associated disciplinary measures.

Gender Identification

  1. Self-identification is the sole and whole measure of a person’s gender.
    1. No person shall be required to prove their gender, e.g. produce identity documents, in order to access facilities, services or opportunities within the College campus or community.
    2. Notwithstanding the above statement, individuals seeking to change personal information in College records, files or databases may be required to provide appropriate identification documents in order to establish identity and prevent identity fraud. See policy 2000-2-1 Registration concerning changes to student records.

Personal and Gender Information

  1. All individuals have a responsibility to maintain the currency and accuracy of their relevant personal information on record with the College. All individuals have the right to review and change the information on record with the College, except for the purpose of misleading or misinforming the College.
  2. Individuals needing or wishing to change personal information on record with the College must do so by contacting the appropriate department, (e.g. a student should contact the Registrar’s Office) establishing identity and requesting the change and supplying the new information.
    1. Changes in the gender on record will be made on request.
    2. Changes in, or the inclusion of, a ‘preferred’ or 'chosen' name will be made on request. This name will be used for the individual in (most) College operating documents and internal and external communications. The legal name will continue to exist, for example, in the College student database and to be used, for example, on the College diploma or other such credentials.
    3. Changes in the given name(s) or surname will require the firm establishment of the identity of the requester and proof of the legal change of name, e.g. Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Legal Change of Name Certificate (issued by an authorized government agency), Social Insurance Card, Driver’s License, Passport, Canadian Citizenship Card (with photo).

Gender-Inclusive Language

  1. In the College community, all individuals may expect to be addressed or referenced by the salutation, name and gender pronoun of their choice.
  2. All members of the College community are expected and encouraged to communicate using gender-inclusive language that is respectful and recognizes the inherent equality of all gender identities and gender expressions. Members are expected to use gender-inclusive language, e.g. a preferred pronoun, when it is requested by another individual.
  3. Intentionally addressing a member of the College community by the incorrect name, salutation or pronoun will be considered, minimally, discourteous or, more likely, harassing or threatening, and will incur sanctions accordingly. Inadvertent or honest mistakes may occur. Intentional and persistent refusal to use an individual’s preferred or chosen name, pronoun or salutation is a violation of this policy.

Washrooms

  1. Lambton College will endeavour to ensure that all members of the College community have safe, appropriate washroom facilities available to them, regardless of their gender identity or gender expression, and that they may use these facilities with dignity, free from judgment or harassment.
  2. The College will ensure that all-gender washrooms are available at every Lambton College location and that these washrooms are posted with clear and welcoming signs.
  3. All members of the Lambton College community may choose to use any all-gender washroom.
  4. Notwithstanding the above statements, the College recognizes the right of any individuals to use segregated washroom facilities “consistent with their lived gender” (Ontario Human Rights Commission).

Change Rooms

  1. Lambton College will endeavor to ensure that all members of the College community have access to safe, private change-room facilities that correspond to their gender identity.
    1. The provision of separate privacy stalls within the change rooms will be the first priority.
    2. Privacy accommodation may include use of a private area within the public area, e.g. bathroom stall with a door or an area separated by a curtain, access to a restricted area or office, a separate changing schedule in a private area, use of a nearby private area, etc.
    3. If fully and freely consented to by the person seeking accommodation, that individual may choose and be allowed access to the change-room corresponding to that individual’s assigned gender at birth.

Residence

  1. The College is committed to providing residence accommodation that is inclusive, safe and respectful of all residents regardless of gender identity or gender expression.
  2. The goal of the College is to provide accommodations where all students feel comfortable with their roommate.
    1. In order to achieve this goal, the College will require all students applying for a room in the residence to identify their gender or gender identity.
    2. Students who identify as transgender, or agender are encouraged to so identify and contact the residence authorities to facilitate the provision of options for a comfortable residence environment.
    3. The residence will make reasonable efforts to provide the option for residents to share an all-gender suite. This option will be available where there is mutual agreement by the potential roommates and where vacancy permits.
    4. For a College resident who is in transition or who decides to undergo a transition while residing in the residence, the Residence will reasonably accommodate the student’s housing needs as these needs change during the transition process.

Athletics

  1. No member of the College community will be prevented from full and equal participation in intramural sports, fitness or recreational activities on the basis of gender identity.
  2. Participation in varsity athletics will be governed by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) policy on Transgender Student-Athlete Participation

Dress Codes and Grooming

  1. Except where inconsistent with security or health and safety concerns, all members of the College community are permitted to dress, be uniformed, and groom themselves in attire or in a manner that reflects their own gender identity or preferred gender expression.

Forms

  1. No College form or other means of data collection used within or by the College shall have an exclusively binary gender option. There may be, however, instances in which the use of a form or other means of data collection that is inconsistent with this policy statement is required of the College by governments, government agencies, etc. and so is beyond the control of the College and the reach of this policy.

Definitions

Gender Expression
Refers to the external attributes, behaviour, appearance, etcetera, by which people express their gender and through which others perceive the person's gender, for example, gender expression is related to the way an individual dresses, the length and style of their hair, the way they act or speak, the preferred pitch of their voice, and their choice of whether or not to wear makeup.  (1)
Gender Identity
Concerns an individual's intrinsic or psychological sense of self, particularly their sense of being female, male, a combination of both, or neither, regardless of their biological sex. (2)
Harassment
Harassment is defined by the Ontario Human Rights Code as engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome (Section 10 (1) (f)).  (3)
Intersex
A person whose sexual anatomy or chromosomes do not fit with the traditional markers of "female" and "male". For example, people born with both "female" and "male" anatomy (penis, testicles, vagina, uterus); people born with XXY.  (4)
Questioning
The process of exploring and discovering one's own sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.  (5)
Transgender/Trans
Umbrella terms that describe people with diverse gender identities and gender expressions that do not conform to stereotypical ideas about what it means to be a girl/woman or boy/man in society. It includes, but is not limited to, people who identify as transgender, transsexual, cross-dressers or gender non-conforming (gender variant or gender-queer). Trans people may or may not undergo medically supportive treatments, such as hormone therapy and a range of surgical procedures, to align their bodies with their internally felt gender identity.  (6)
Transsexual
A person whose gender identity is different from their biological sex, who may undergo medical treatments to change their biological sex, often times to align it with their gender identity, or they may live their lives as another sex.  (7)
Transitioning
The process (which for some people may also be referred to as the "gender reassignment process") whereby people change their appearance and/or bodies to match their internal (gender) identity, while living their lives full-time in their preferred gender mode.  (8)

Sources:

  1. Humber College Policy HR111, February 10, 2015
  2. Humber College Policy HR111, February 10, 2015
  3. Humber College Policy HR111, February 10, 2015
  4. University of Michigan, international spectrum, LGBT Terms and Definitions, University of Michigan website, March, 2016
  5. University of Michigan, international spectrum, LGBT Terms and Definitions, University of Michigan website, March, 2016
  6. Rainbow Health Ontario, adapted by Ayden Scheim, 2016
  7. University of Michigan, international spectrum, LGBT Terms and Definitions, University of Michigan website, March, 2016
  8. Humber College Policy HR111, February 10, 2015

For questions or concerns regarding policies, please contact:

Jim Elliott
Director, Quality Assurance & Institutional Research
519-542-7751 x 3489
jim.elliott@lambtoncollege.ca

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