Statement Regarding Transgender Inclusion

Florida State University is a nationally recognized leader in diversity and inclusion.  We got there by committing to make our campuses welcoming to everyone.  Diversity of backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints strengthens the intellectual life of our institution.  The more our community reflects the world around us, the more academically innovative we are and the better leaders we will produce.  Our transgender colleagues, students, staff, and visitors are a valued contribution to that mix.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Education rescinded its guidance relating to treatment of transgender students in schools.  This federal action has no impact on FSU’s commitment to support and protect transgender people on our campuses.  Gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation are all protected under the university’s Non-Discrimination Policy.  All members of our community are free to use a restroom that aligns with their gender identity.

FSU has an established network of support and compliance that works to ensure our community fosters safety and respect.  These campus partners work to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment, while promoting a culturally diverse and inclusive work and educational environment where students, faculty, and staff are treated fairly and recognized for their individuality.

Our commitment to this work will not be deterred and our efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion will continue.  This work is so integral to our mission that we have made it a goal within Florida State’s current Strategic Plan.  Teams across campus are currently working on the implementation of this goal.  I am excited about this work and committed to seeing it to fruition.

Again, I want to assure transgender members of the campus community of our unwavering support for you.  As I have previously stated, we need to support each other in the days and years ahead and make sure everyone on campus is able to teach, learn, and grow in an atmosphere of civility and safety.  Civility and mutual respect are the hallmarks of our culture and will continue to be so.

John Thrasher

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