Denver, Colo., Nov 2, 2018 / 18:00 pm
The provost of Denver’s Regis University has encouraged faculty members to attend a student drag show on the university campus, and to take in-class measures intended to support the gender identity preferences of students.
An Oct. 29 letter from university provost Janet Houser and the university’s Queer Resource Alliance noted that “this week has been a challenging one for our LGBTQIA community at Regis, with recent reports indicating that the Trump administration is considering policy changes that would eliminate federal protections for transgender people.”
“Our Jesuit values call us to respect the human dignity of all individuals, to care for the whole person, and to serve the most marginalized members of our society.”
The letter referred to an October announcement that the Department of Health and Human Services would seek to define gender “on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable,” for the purposes of the federal Title IX program.
In response, Regis faculty were encouraged to “remember that you may have students in your class classroom (including out queer students, students from queer families, queer students who are not out yet, and others) struggling with this news and its implications.”
To “support your LGBTQIA students, especially transgender students,” the provost suggested faculty members attend an on-campus “Drag Show featuring student performers,” along with other campus events commemorating the “Transgender Day of Remembrance,” on Nov. 15.
A Regis University spokesperson told CNA that “our Jesuit values call on us to respect the human dignity of all individuals, to care for the whole person, and to serve the most marginalized members of our society. Our faculty and staff strive to care for all our students with the respect, sensitivity and compassion they deserve, and to celebrate everyone’s gifts. We will continue to do so in manner that fulfills our mission and upholds our Catholic, Christian conviction that all lives are sacred.”
The Oct. 29 letter also encouraged professors to “avoid phrases that reinforce the gender binary, such as ‘ladies and gentlemen,’” “assign readings by queer, and especially transgender, authors,” and “add your preferred gender pronouns to your email signature (for example, "she/her/hers").”