University forms committee aiming to improve support for transgender students

Peter Kotecki, Campus Editor

Administrators have approved a committee to work toward improving support for transgender students at Northwestern, a University official said.

Patricia Telles-Irvin, vice president for student affairs, told The Daily that the committee will look at new buildings, including residential halls, to ensure there are enough accommodations for transgender students.

“We have done some changes in the bathrooms at Norris,” Telles-Irvin said. “There will be more.”

The committee will work to determine what transgender students need on campus and what administrators can provide to help them, she said.

Jabbar Bennett, associate provost for diversity and inclusion, said he does not think there was a specific issue that led administrators to create this committee. He added that throughout Spring Quarter and last summer, staff from his office, Multicultural Student Affairs and the Office of Human Resources met to discuss resources for transgender students, faculty and staff.

“How can we better provide a roadmap to individuals who are transitioning…to help ease the process as much as we can, but along with that provide education to the people who are working and providing these services, around the sensitivity and the personal nature of these processes?” Bennett said.

Mariana Alfaro contributed reporting.

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