March 20, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 50°F


Editorial: Transgender students find sense of community at IC

Over the years, Ithaca College succeeded in its efforts to create a stronger community for transgender and queer students. Having this kind of community depends a great deal on housing that supports transgender and queer students’ needs.

Open Pages — a Residential Learning Community founded in Fall 2022 — provides this sense of community for students that is better than the Trans and Non-Binary Housing Request, which provides desired housing accommodations. Creating a community where students feel safe and welcomed is much different than simply providing housing that satisfies the basic needs of students. Having a safe space is very important for trans and queer students. Housing that provides a sense of community can aid in bringing this safety. Seeing this improvement at the college is very fulfilling and promising for future changes. 

Not only is the Office of Residential Life improving its resources, but the college has various services for transgender and queer students. There are gender-neutral bathrooms around campus and the Ithaca area that soon can be tracked with the Pee in Peace app. The LGBT Center on campus provides resources for legal name change processes and any other name and gender marker changes on identity documents. The college is one of the few that has a Voice and Communication Modification Program, which is dedicated to helping transgender people develop voice, articulation, non-verbal communication, language, voice-related quality of life changes and self-perception.  

All these resources and services create an overall safe space for transgender and queer students. Ithaca College has also been ranked as one of the top 10 trans-friendly colleges in the United States thanks to all the provided services. These improvements are praiseworthy and need to be discussed in a larger manner so other colleges and communities can follow our example. Certainly, improvements should not end and the college must keep innovating for a better and stronger future.

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