Let's Build an Inclusive Campus
Each of us has a part to play in making campus more open, safe, and affirming for all members of our Mastodon family. We have compiled the following resources and guides to help you support your LGBTQIA+ students, peers, and colleagues.
PURDUE NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY
Purdue Fort Wayne does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, genetic information, disability, status as a veteran, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Purdue Fort Wayne promotes policies and programs to ensure that all persons have equal access to its employment opportunities. All aspects of the employment relationship, including recruitment, selection, hiring, training, professional development, tenure, promotion, compensation, and separations, are administered in accordance with the above Statement of Principles and Values. Purdue Fort Wayne also promotes the full realization of equal employment opportunity through a comprehensive affirmative action program applying to all units.
Inclusive Classroom Tips
Inclusive Classroom Tips
All students have the right to a safe and inclusive learning environment, where they are free to learn without fear of bias, discrimination, othering, or alienation from their peers and instructor. As a faculty member, you play an essential role in ensuring that our LGBTQIA+ students in particular feel welcome, safe, and affirmed in the classroom, and in upholding the university's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
You can learn more about the importance of supporting LGBTQIA+ student success by clicking here.
There are many simple and easy ways to incorporate inclusive practice into your classroom activities. Below are a few suggestions:
- Introduce yourself with your name and pronouns on the first day of class and invite students to do the same
- If your section is too large to do individual introductions, you can ask students to state their name and pronouns whenever they raise their hand to speak or ask a question
- If you have completed SafeZone certification, mention it in your syllabus and/or during your introduction.
- If you have students pair off and introduce each other, make sure to include pronouns as one of the interview questions to avoid an embarrassing situation in which a student is introduced incorrectly.
Communicating with Students
- Include your pronouns in your email signature
- Avoid honorifics like "Ms./Mrs./Mr." unless the individual uses them to refer to themself first
- When assigning group projects, assign groups or have students count off rather than allowing students to select their own groups. This will reduce the likelihood that students who are visibly different will be left out and encourages students to work with people they might not otherwise.
- During classroom discussions, be mindful of who is speaking up and who is not. You can encourage the latter group to participate by asking for input from anyone who has not spoken in a while, or setting a rule that each person may only speak once until everyone else has had a chance to speak.
- Never ask members of marginalized communities to speak on behalf of their entire group
- If class size allows, facilitate a conversation on the first day of class that invites students to participate in creating a set of mutually agreed upon expectations for communication and conduct. This also has the benefit of giving students the opportunity to take ownership of their learning and feel invested in the classroom experience.
- In your own expectations, strive to create a culture of trust and respect that encourages dialogue and accountability without judgement.
- Be mindful of unintentionally creating the expectation that those with marginalized identities should be the only ones to call out or address inappropriate/offensive language or behavior. As the faculty member, you can both model appropriately addressing negative behaviors and empower your students to respectfully hold each other accountable.
Language is constantly shifting and changing, and trying to keep up can sometimes feel overwhelming. Here are a few simple tips to help you make your own language more inclusive:
- When addressing your class, avoid "ladies and gentlemen" - instead, use gender-neutral terms of address like "all", "everyone", etc.". You can even use use terms like "friends" or "comrades" for something more familiar.
- When speaking about a significant other, use "partner" instead of "boyfriend/girlfriend" or "wife/husband" to avoid assumptions about gender or sexual orientation
- When referring to a person whose gender you do not know, use the gender neutral pronoun "they/them" rather than "he or she"/"him or her"
- Check out our glossary to learn about appropriate terms, and outdated or problematic terms to avoid
PRONOUNS & CHOSEN NAMES
Using someone's correct name and pronouns is a sign of respect, and providing your students the opportunity to share the name and pronouns they would like to use, whether privately or in class, allows them to bring their whole self to class, promotes their personal agency, encourages them to participate more fully, and helps build trust between instructor and student.
Before the semester starts, consider emailing students with a short introduction, including your pronouns and how you wish to be addressed, and invite them to respond with their pronouns and the name they would like to use in class. This is especially important if you plan to call roll or pass around an attendance sheet in class, and may be a more convenient method if you are teaching a large section.
If you would rather collect name and pronoun information on the first day of class, options include:
- Asking students to fill out informational note cards. In addition to information you would normally ask students to list, have your students also write down their name on record, the name they want to use (if it differs from the name on record), and their pronouns
- Invite students to email or speak to you privately before the next class meeting to let you know their pronouns and the name they want you to use
- If you have students introduce themselves on the first day of class, invite (but don't require) everyone to share their pronouns. By encouraging everyone to share their pronouns, you can help normalize the sharing of pronouns to make trans and non-binary students feel less singled out
For more information on pronouns and why respecting pronouns matters, click here.
For more information on why respecting chosen names matters, click here.
Incorporating inclusive language in your syllabus is a simple step that may help students across a variety of identities feel seen, heard and supported.
You can copy and paste the language below into your syllabus or use it as a template to create your own welcome statement.
In this course, each voice in the classroom has something of value to contribute. Please take care to respect the different experiences, beliefs, and values expressed by students and staff involved in this course. We support Purdue Fort Wayne's commitment to diversity and welcome individuals of all ages, backgrounds, citizenships, disabilities, sexes, education levels, ethnicities, family statuses, genders, gender identities, geographical locations, languages, military experiences, political views, races, religions, sexual orientations, socioeconomic statuses, and work experiences.
STATE & NATIONAL RESOURCES
Equity Literacy Project - The ELP provides free and lost-cost resources and training for educators working to combat inequity in education
Gender Spectrum - Resources for educators, parents, faith leaders, medical and mental health professionals, etc. about gender and gender inclusivity
GLSEN - National network of students, educators, and local chapters working to ensure safe, supportive, and LGBTQ-inclusive K-12 education. GLSEN provides training and resources for educators, as well as curriculum and policy recommendations.
Learning for Justice - Founded by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Learning for Justice provides free resources to K-12 educators around issues of racial justice, intersectionality, and human rights.
Project THRIVE - Free webinars for educators supporting LGBTQ+ youth
Safe Schools Coalition - Public-private partnership providing resources, curriculum guides, and more for educators supporting LGBTQ+ youth
GUIDES & ARTICLES
Resources for Families
Resources for Families
Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride - Organization focused on ending stigma and isolation of LGBTQ+ family members in the AAPI community
Kaleidoscope - Affirming support for LGBTQ+ young people and their families
Matthew's Place - Resources, education, and stories for LGBTQ+ youth
My Kid is Gay - Education and resources for families of LGBTQ+ youth
PFLAG - Support, education, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ people, their parents, families, and allies
Safe Schools Coalition - Public-private partnership in support of LGBTQ+ youth
The Latinx Roundtable - Organization dedicated to promoting understanding, acceptance and affirmation of Latinx LGBTQ+ persons and their families by transforming Latinx faith communities and the wider Latinx community.