SFCC LGBTQIA Virtual Resource Center

Sample Syllabus Statement

In order for learning to take place, students must feel safe; this safety is due all students, not only those who share your values and beliefs. For this reason, courtesy, thoughtfulness, and acceptance are essential in our discussions in and out of the classroom. Acceptance should not be confused with agreement; one need not agree with a person to listen, and one must listen well in order to disagree respectfully. Every student in this course has a voice and so deserves the courtesy of attentive listening and the freedom to express diverse ideas.

Student Code of Conduct (WAC-132Q-02-040)

"Misconduct for which the campuses may impose sanctions and/or disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to…Intentional physical or verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, coercion and/or other conduct, including disorderly, lewd or indecent behavior directed at another person which has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile, intimidating or disruptive learning or working environment at any campus-sponsored or campus supervised function."

Revised Code of Washington - 49.60.010

The legislature hereby finds and declares that practices of discrimination against any of its inhabitants because of race, creed, color, national origin, families with children, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a disabled person are a matter of state concern, that such discrimination threatens not only the rights and proper privileges of its inhabitants but menaces the institutions and foundation of a free democratic state.

National Education Association Resolution
C-28. Student Sexual Orientation

The National Education Association believes that all persons, regardless of sexual orientation, should be afforded equal opportunity within the public education system. The Association also believes that, for students who are struggling with their sexual/gender orientation, every educational institution should provide counseling services and programs that deal with high suicide and dropout rates and the high incidence of teen prostitution. These services and programs shall be staffed by trained personnel.

Working on Myself

  • Respect confidentiality
  • Stay informed on LGBTQ issues and resources
  • Know your limitations. If you are uncomfortable dealing with an LGBTQ issue, refer the person to someone else.
  • Do not force LGBTQ people out of the closet nor come out for them to others. The process of coming out is one of enlarging a series of concentric circles of those who know. The process should be in the control of the individual until (and if) they consider it public knowledge.
  • View the creation of an inclusive environment as your responsibility, not the responsibility of individual persons who happen to be LGBTQ people. Always waiting for them to speak, challenge, or act adds an extra level of responsibility to someone who is already dealing with oppression on many levels.
  • Take the time to examine your own personal feelings about LGBTQ people
  • Be supportive of LGBTQ students because they add to the vibrancy of thought, activity, and life on your campus not because it is politically correct
  • Use the pronouns of the gender they feel themselves to be. If you are not sure which pronouns a person prefers, ask, "Which pronouns would you like me to use / do you prefer?" This is sign of respect and support.
  • If someone assumes that you are LGBTQI just because you are an ally, don't rush to deny it. You might try to determine why someone is asking. If you feel a strong urge to deny it, examine that discomfort and the reasons behind it.

Working on Behalf of Others

  • Avoid language that implies that all people are heterosexual and either "single, married, or divorced." Use "partner" instead of "girl/boyfriend" or "wife/husband."
  • Immediately intervene when negative incidents occur, whether in the classroom, in the hallways, or anywhere on the campus. Note such incidents as harassment, put-downs, anti-gay jokes, graffiti, labeling. Challenge bigoted jokes and remarks.
  • Make your classroom/workspace gay-friendly by posting inclusive posters
  • Don't tokenize out LGBTQ students in the classroom
  • Acknowledge the presence of LGBTQ people on campus and in society publicly, at high levels, and often
  • Help heterosexual/straight students to understand that LGBTQ people are a presence on campus and in society whether they like it or not. Heterosexual/straight students must learn to live peacefully with LGBTQ people.
  • When LGBTQ students are verbally assaulted, make official or personal statements in public venues condemning such action. When their belongings are vandalized, make official and/or personal statements in public venues condemning such action. When they are beaten up, make official and/or personal statements condemning such action. Empower others to do the same. If you know who the aggressors are, punish them judicially.

Working on My Campus Resources

  • Identify gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender contributions throughout the curriculum in history, literature, art, science, etc.
  • Advertise resources and events for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students
  • Buy materials for the library on sexual and gender diversity
  • At the Career Center, post information on national companies that provide domestic partnership benefits
  • Identify a counselor who has some understanding of LGBTQ issues who can serve as a confidential referral for students
  • Recruit and hire "out" LGBT staff and faculty. View sexual orientation and gender identity as positive forms of diversity that are desired in a multicultural setting. Always question job applicants about their ability to work with LGBTQ students, staff, and faculty.

Working on My Institution

  • Include issues for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students in the school newspaper, student government, peer training, and other appropriate student programs
  • Add gender identity/ expression to the college's non-discrimination policy
  • Ensure diversity training for all staff. Compensate them for it. Give staff members time to discuss how their particular service function can affect LGBTQ students.
  • Ensure that Financial Aid staff has training on how the impact of student's "coming out" at home can affect parents' financial support
  • Add a statement regarding nondiscrimination as it relates to sexual orientation and gender identity to the Student Code of Conduct. Indicate where students should report if they feel harassed.
  • Address LGBTQ issues at New Student Orientation and make new students understand that LGBTQ students are a welcomed part of campus life
  • Ask the Director of Athletics to have a discussion with coaches about how homosexuality and homophobia affect athletes
  • All student service departments should periodically participate in structured dialogues with LGBTQ students to discuss issues of access. The purpose of this dialogue would be to raise awareness of the nature and extent of homophobia/heterosexism at SFCC and the particular unit, and to explore avenues for the problems related to the access and quality of services for LGBTQ students.

Gender Norms Activity

Purpose: To help students identify societally-constructed gender roles and feel the consequences of breaking them.
  1. Brainstorm stereotypical gender behaviors on the board (e.g. men talk in declarative statements, women speak in qualified statements or questions).
  2. Have students keep a journal for one week recording any stereotypical behaviors they commit for the gender they identify with (you can do this too).
  3. Have students spend a week disobeying gender norms. Have them keep a journal recording how it felt and reactions (if any) they received.

Heterosexual Questionnaire

Purpose: To help students identify and understand heterocentrism/heternormativity.
  1. What do you think caused your heterosexuality?
  2. When and how did you first decide you were a heterosexual?
  3. Is it possible your heterosexuality is just a phase you may grow out of?
  4. If you've never slept with a person of the same sex, how can you be sure you wouldn't prefer that?
  5. To whom have you disclosed your heterosexual tendencies? How did they react?
  6. Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Can't you just be what you are and keep it quiet?