LGBT Life on Campus

This section focuses on LGBT Student life here on campus. These pages rely on your input. Please email any ideas to lgbtrc@uccs.edu. Thank you for your patience.

LGBT on Campus

Trans on Campus

Allies on Campus

LGBT Faculty on Campus

LGBT on Campus

 

WELCOME TO UCCS!
One of our primary goals at the LGBT+ Resource Center is to help make sure you have the most positive and inspirational experience possible on your journey to college success. Check out our 5 tips for getting started, and/or view our comprehensive FAQ section to learn more about what UCCS has to offer LGBT+ students. If you have additional questions, call or email to make an appointment at the LGBT+ Resource Center. We're happy to help!

 

  FAQ's for LGBT Students at UCCS

  1. I 'm not out yet, but I'm hoping to get connected with resources and others while I'm in school. Where should I begin?
    Check out our coming out pages, and if you'd like, try setting up a meeting with the leader of one of the LGBT+ student groups.


  2. Is there faculty or someone I can talk to if I have a problem?
    You can always chat with your advisor or someone at the counseling office if you encounter any problems while on campus. We also recommend signing up for our Mentorship Program, which can be helpful in getting you connected with the best resources. Of course, you can always call or stop by the LGBT+ Resource Center for more information, or just to talk.


  3. Are there LGBT+ student groups?
    Presently, there is one LGBT+ student group: SPECTRUM. There are also several other groups that support LGBT+ students. Go to Mountain Lion Connect to find more student organizations and clubs.                                                                                                                                  
  4. Are there nondiscrimination policies in place?
    In 2007, the State of Colorado added "sexual orientation" to the state's employment nondiscrimination laws. Sexual orientation in state law is defined to include heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender status. In 2008, the State of Colorado added "sexual orientation" to the state's housing and public accommodations nondiscrimination laws with SB200. This covers colleges, and again, sexual orientation in state law is defined to include heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender status. The UCCS administration is presently working with the Regents to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the college's policies on nondiscrimination and inclusion.


  5. What's the overall climate for LGBT students?
    UCCS received 2.5 out of 5 from Campus Pride, but with the implementation of the new Chancellor's LGBT Task Force, and the LGBT+ Resource Center, we're dedicated to achieving 5 stars!


  6. Is there a formal LGBT+ or Queer Studies Program?
    Yes. Check out the Matrix Center and WEST to learn more about LGBT+ and Queer Studies programming available at UCCS.


  7. Are there out LGBT+ leaders on campus?
    Yes! UCCS is fortunate to have several out faculty members and in 2009, the student body elected an openly-gay president and vice president to the Student Government Associate (SGA).


  8. Are there LGBT+ resources in the library?
    Yes. In fact, UCCS has more than 355 LGBT+ related titles at the Kraemer Family Library.


  9. I'm new to the city - What can I find out about LGBT+ Colorado Springs?
    Colorado Springs has a vibrant LGBT+ community, complete with a Pride Center, LGBT+ clubs and organizations, and a youth program. Check out links to Colorado Springs' LGBT+ community here.


  10. Is there a mentorship program for LGBT+ students?
    Yes. The M.O.S.A.I.C. Office runs a Mentorship Program for incoming freshmen. You can choose to be paired based on your sexual orientation.


  11. I'm not sure if I'm LGBT+, can I talk to someone?
    Absolutely. You can speak with someone at the counseling center for a more professional setting, or you're welcome to stop by the LGBTRC to speak with someone in a peer-based setting. We also encourage you to visit our coming out pages on the LGBTRC site. You can also call our Help-Line at 719.255.7527 or drop by during our drop-in hours.


  12. I have LGBT+ friends, but I'm not LGBT+ myself. How can I connect and be supportive?
    Thanks for being an ally! Check out our Allies Resource section of this page.


  13. Can I have LGBT+ or LGBT+ friendly roommates?
    Click here for more information about housing on campus. If you need additional information, contact Ralph Giese. As the Director of Housing, Ralph is a member of the LGBT+ Task Force, and can work to ensure you have a positive experience during your campus stay. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the LGBT Resource Center                                                                                               
  14. Is student health knowledgeable about LGBT+ issues?
    Click here for more information about the Health Center. Members of the Student Health Center participate on the Chancellor's LGBT+ Task Force, and have continually worked to provide both LGBT+ friendly and LGBT+ competent care. If you have additional questions, please contact the LGBTRC or the Student Health Center.


  15. Are the campus police LGBT+ friendly?
    Campus police leaders are members of the LGBT+ Task Force and are aware of specific issues that affect the LGBT+ community. Further, campus police have often worked to ensure the safety of students at LGBT+ campus events. Click here to learn more about public safety at UCCS.


  16. What kind of scholarships are available to LGBT+ students?
    The Alexander Foundation provides scholarships to LGBT+ Students in Colorado, and the Point Foundation provides scholarships to LGBT+ students across the country, and has a comprehensive list of other grants and scholarship opportunities that may be available. HRC also has a large list of leads that may be useful. We also recommend searching for scholarships specific to your field of interest, which may include LGBT and non-LGBT+ specific opportunities.

  17. I'm concerned about financial aid...what can I do?
    Financial Aid can be challenging to navigate, especially if you are having troubles getting information from your parent or guardian. Contact the financial aid department for more information, or if you are having additional challenges, make an appointment to speak with the Program Director at the LGBTRC.


  18. What if I have a question that wasn't answered here?
    Call our office at 719.255-3447, email us at lgbtrc@uccs.edu, or drop-in while we are open.

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Trans on Campus



The LGBT Resource Center recognizes that transgender students may have specific questions relating to their experience here on campus. This guide is designed to help make life on campus as easy to navigate as possible. This page contains both general resources, as well as FAQ's specific to campus life. We are always looking for new ideas and better ways to say things please feel free to submit your ideas. If you have additional questions, concerns, or would like assistance, please contact Sandra Parcher the Program Director at 719.255.7527, or email lgbtrc@uccs.edu. The LGBT Resource Center would like to oragnize a meet and greet for transgender on campus. If you are interested in attending or helping please email or call us: lgbtrc@uccs.edu (719) 255-3447. We'll be happy to hear from you.


 


                                                                     FAQ'S FOR TRANSGENDER STUDENTS

1. What is the transgender community like at UCCS?

UCCS is working to create a more transgender inclusive and affirming campus. Presently, we have been fortunate to have several transgender students who have spoken out to affect policy and institutional recognition of transgender life here on campus.

 
2. Is there a non-discrimination policy regarding gender identity?

In 2007, the State of Colorado added "sexual orientation" to the state's employment nondiscrimination laws. Sexual orientation in state law is defined to include heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender status. In 2008, the State of Colorado added "sexual orientation" to the state's housing and public accommodations nondiscrimination laws with SB200. This covers colleges, and again, sexual orientation in state law is defined to include heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender status. The UCCS administration is presently working with the Regents to add gender identity specifically to the college's policies on nondiscrimination and inclusion.

 

3. Are there transgender/intersex specific groups here on campus, and what are some ways I can get involved?

Presently, there are not transgender/intersex specific groups on campus, but there are two student groups that specifically include and address the transgender community: SPECTRUM and the Queer Student Union. In addition, the Counseling Center has expressed interest in sponsoring a transgender or intersex group based on student interest.



4. Do you have any counselors on campus that know about transgender issues?

The counseling center on campus has been heavily involved in the LGBT Task Force, and there are counselors available who are competent in working with the transgender community. In addition, you can contact the local Pride Center for additional counseling resources who have had years of practice and experience working with the transgender community.

 

5. Are there gender neutral restrooms on campus?

Yes, there are! Here is a map of all the gender-neutral restrooms on campus.

 

6. Is on-campus housing transgender-friendly?

Transgender students are valued members of the on-campus living community at UCCS. UCCS recognizes and respects the gender identity the student has established with Housing, including instances when a student begins transition mid-year. In order to provide support for the needs of incoming and current transgender students, we encourage students to meet with the Director of Housing, Ralph Giese. The Director of Housing is a member of The Chancellor's LGBT Task Force, and Housing and the LGBTRC work in partnership to ensure transgender students are afforded a safe and affirming living environment. Each floor is co-ed (with the exception of the all-female floor), though at present, each suite is gender-specific and has its own restroom facilities. Staff will not ask for any more information than is required to meet the student's housing needs, and all disclosed information will be kept strictly confidential. All Housing team members, including RA's, have received diversity training to include transgender-specific information. Should a student have a concern related to housing and the student's gender identity, the student should set up an appointment to speak with the Director of Housing or the LGBTRC Program Director right away.



7. What if my roommate(s) freak out?

If students have a conflict with a roommate because of their gender identity or expression, students should contact the Director of Housing, Ralph Giese, or the LGBT Resource Center Program Director.

 

8. Where can I find transgender-friendly roommates?

The LGBTRC can make space available to post for transgender-friendly roommates at the LGBT Resource Center located in the MOSAIC Office.

 

9. Are athletic facilities transgender-friendly?

The Athletic Department has recently joined The Chancellor's LGBT Task Force, however, transgender-specific concerns have not yet been addressed.

 

10. How can I change my name on campus records?

Names can be changed on campus records by completing the Name Change form available from the Admissions and Records Office, located in the Main Hall. Once this form has been submitted, the new information will appear on all campus information, to include rosters. Should the student submit a name change mid-session, the student may wish to speak with instructors to ensure they have correct information. Having a name and gender change through the Admissions and Records Office effectively changes the student's information when that information is accessed in the future (such as for course registration, the directory listing, and transcripts). If a student encounters any challenges in this area, they should make an appointment to speak with the Registrar, Steve Ellis. The Registrar is a member of the Chancellor's LGBT Task Force and is aware of obstacles transgender students may face. In addition, students can contact the LGBTRC for further assistance.

 

11. How can I change my gender on campus records?

With regard to campus records, students need to present documentation verifying their new gender information. A Colorado Driver's License or Colorado State ID is permitted. To change your gender on your Colorado Driver's License or Colorado State ID, please see the following guide. Because laws and policies can change frequently, we also encourage you to speak with the DMV Office you'll be visiting to ensure they have the most up-to-date information and forms. In general, your gender can be updated on your Colorado State issued ID by completing form DR2083 and associated requirements (a statement from your physician). For additional information about this process, you might also contact Peak Area Gender Expressions at 719.217.8896 or The Gender Identity Center of Colorado at 303.202.6466. For certain federal information, including your FAFSA documents, you will need to have your social security card updated as well. To change your name and gender with the Social Security Administration, visit www.ssa.gov for details. Please also contact PAGE or GIC for specific guidance on changing your gender with social security if you have not yet completed surgery.

 

12. Is Student Health Services knowledgeable about transgender health issues?

Yes. While only some of the Student Health Center staff has worked with transgender students, all staff members are trained to be sensitive to the issues experienced by current and potential transgender patients. The Student Health Center works diligently to provide a safe, caring environment where all patients are treated with the respect that they deserve. You should expect this during each of your visits, and if you do not receive this degree of service, please contact the Director of the Student Health Center directly so the issue can be addressed. Her name is Stephanie Hanenberg and her e-mail is shanenbe@uccs.edu.

 

13. Does the student health insurance plan cover services for transgender students?

Partially. Transgender students are covered in general under the policy, and students can access transgender-specific services such as hormone-replacement therapy. Presently, the UCCS Student Health Insurance Policy does not cover surgery for transgender students, however, the Student Health Center team is researching opportunities for this possibility. For more information and complete details, please make an appointment to speak with the Director of the Student Health Center, Stephanie Hanenberg. She is a member of The Chancellor's LGBT Task Force, and can be reached at shanenbe@uccs.edu.

 

14. What is the process for UCCS students to access medical and mental health services for issues regarding transgender identity, hormone therapy, etc?

For students who identify as part of the transgender community, and have begun, or are beginning, their transition, there are a number of processes that can be followed. Major points of contact include the LGBTRC, the Student Health Center and the Counseling Center. All of these agencies should have an understanding of the health insurance policies that come into play (with the exception of the LGBTRC), the competency to address the needs of transgender students, and the ability to communicate to each other regarding the services you may be seeking. These processes are set forth as a way of understanding the way you may access the health services you need: The LGBT Resource Center can help connect you with social and support activities on campus and within the community. In addition, the LGBTRC is happy to provide additional navigation assistance. Students who are interested in beginning hormones may begin by accessing the Student Health Center. Medical practitioners at the Student Health Center may be able to continue courses of hormones that have been previously prescribed by other medical professionals that the student has secured hormones from in the past. Students who have never been on hormones may need further diagnosis and evaluation. Medical staff at the Student Health Center can assist with this. Students who are struggling with their gender identity, or issues related to gender identity, may access the Counseling Center as a first point of contact. Students who have concerns that can only be addressed with care beyond the length currently available through the Counseling Center may be referred to on off campus provider that is knowledgeable about the transgender community.

 

15. Are the police on campus transgender-friendly?

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) Police Department is in the process of coordinating training with the LGBT Resource Center for all of their patrol officers. The Chief of Police, Jim Spice, along with his entire senior staff have been to the LGBT Resource Center and have completed Safe Space Training through SPECTRUM. In addition, the UCCS Police Department has assigned a liaison to SPECTRUM, Officer Lisa Dipzinski, to assist with any issues or concerns. Officer Dipzinski is also an instructor for the Safe Space Training program. We have an excellent working relationship with the campus police. If there are any problems or concerns with the UCCS PD, please contact the LGBT Resource Center. The UCCS Police Department also employs student Parking Enforcement Officers (PEO's) as well as student and staff Residential Security Officers. Neither of these groups have received transgender specific training at this time.

 

16. Are their academic programs that focus on transgender issues?

Check out the Matrix Center and WEST to learn more about LGBT and Queer Studies programming available at UCCS.

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Allies on Campus



What does "Ally" mean?

In reference to the LGBT community, and ally is someone who does not identify as LGBTQI, but is both supportive of their LGBT loved ones, and is an active supporter for complete LGBT equality.

Getting Educated...

Being an ally often entails knowing what experiences and obstacles are faced by LGBT people. You might want to check out local resources and links to learn as much as you can about what LGBT people experience, and how you can be supportive. We recommend starting with www.pflag.org or Straight for Equality, and going from there.

Being Supportive...
Okay, so you want to be supportive! Excellent! Here are 10 things you can do to be a great Ally:

  1. Organize discussion groups at organizations in which you are a member to talk about LGBT issues.
  2. Use neutral labels like "partner" or significant other" instead of boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.
  3. Bring up current LGBT issues on conversations with friends, at work, and in your community.
  4. Interrupt anti-LGBT jokes, comments or any other behaviors that make homophobia/transphobia seem OK.
  5. Put LGBT-affirming posters at your work, community of faith, etc., and wear visible signage (buttons, t-shirts, etc.) that promote LGBT equality and straight ally visibility.
  6. Don't make assumptions about sexual orientation or gender identity. Assume there are LGBT people in all classes, workplaces, sports, meetings, etc.
  7. Don't assume that feminine or masculine presentations indicate one's sexual orientation or gender identity.
  8. Again, don't assume that masculine or feminine presentations indicate one's sexual orientation or gender identity.
  9. Speak up for LGBT issues and rights whenever, wherever you can. Write letters to the editor, participate in marches, lend support to LGBT groups, etc.
  10. As an ally to transgender people, speak up when you hear slurs and attacks on people who express their gender outside of societal expectations. Educate people around you about the continuum of gender expression.



For more information, check with UCCS's local groups and organizations, as well as groups and organizations in the community to find out how you can lend your support!

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LGBT Faculty on Campus

WELCOME TO UCCS!

With the Chancellor's LGBT+ Task Force as a catalyst, the climate for LGBT+ faculty and staff at UCCS is progressing rapidly. As an LGBT+ employee, or potential LGBT+ employee at UCCS, you might have certain questions about how to navigate the UCCS system. The LGBT+ Resource Center is dedicated to providing information to LGBT+ employees in order to ensure a fully inclusive and affirming environment for the LGBT+ community at UCCS. See below to find out how UCCS ranks compared to the Out & Equal Workplace guidelines, and view our FAQ's for additional information. The LGBT+ Resource Center is committed to helping both students and faculty/staff. If you need additional information, or if the LGBT+ Resource Center can be of service, please do not hesitate to contact our Program Director at 719.255.7527 or email lgbtrc@uccs.edu.

POLICIES AND BENEFITS

  • In 2007, the State of Colorado added "sexual orientation" to the state's employment nondiscrimination laws. Sexual orientation in state law is defined to include heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender status. In 2008, the State of Colorado added "sexual orientation" to the state's housing and public accommodations nondiscrimination laws with SB200. This covers colleges, and again, sexual orientation in state law is defined to include heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender status. The UCCS administration is presently working with the Regents to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the college's internal comprehensive policies on nondiscrimination and inclusion.

  • UCCS provides "domestic partner" benefits for LGBT+ employees. To find out about important details, please contact the Human Resources Department. Presently, the college requires a declaration of partnership to enroll in the program. The City and County of Denver provides such services, however, through the Chancellor's LGBT+ Task Force, the administration is presently researching opportunities for local documentation.

  • UCCS provides comprehensive health coverage to LGBT+ and all employees, including covering most medical needs for employees who are transgender or in transition. Presently, however, the college does not provide coverage for sexual reassignment surgery, but the HR and Health Center are conducting research to assess whether this may be possible in the future. For further information, please contact the Human Resources Department.

TALENT MANAGEMENT AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • UCCS is committed to building and maintaining an LGBT+ affirming and inclusive environment, as evidenced by the establishment of the LGBT+ Resource Center in October 2009, and the implementation of the Chancellor's LGBT+ Task Force.

  • UCCS is pleased to have the PRIDE Faculty group, which meets monthly and participates in various activities and events, such as Coming Out Day, Colorado Springs PrideFest, and other opportunities. The PRIDE Faculty Group can be reached here, and is also prominent within the Chancellor's LGBT+ Task Force.  

  • PRESENT AREAS OF OPPORTUNITY FOR UCCS: Recruit, hire, and offer mentoring to LGBT+ employees through tools such as LGBTCareerLink.com. Provide leadership development experiences specifically for LGBT+ employees. Track recruitment and career development metrics for LGBT+ employees who choose to self identify. (from the Out & Equal Steps...)

WORKPLACE CLIMATE

  • UCCS is committed to building and maintaining an LGBT+ affirming and inclusive workplace environment by offering specific training to employees and students through the college's program, "The Big Idea". Further, each year, UCCS works with SPECTRUM to produce Safe Space Training, and the LGBT+ Resource Center is presently working on a new curriculum that can be used campus wide.

  • UCCS received 2.5 out of 5 from the Campus Pride climate survey, but with the implementation of the new Chancellor's LGBT+ Task Force, and the LGBT+ Resource Center, we're dedicated to achieving 5 stars.

  • PRESENT AREAS OF OPPORTUNITY FOR UCCS: Include LGBT diversity objectives in management performance goals. Communicate routinely to all employees about how the organization supports its LGBT+ workforce. (from the Out & equal Steps...)

COMMUNITY COMMITMENT

  • UCCS supports LGBT+ faculty as participants in the community-at-large. The PRIDE group routinely participate in Colorado Springs PrideFest, and works with other organizations to facilitate positive visibility for UCCS's LGBT+ faculty and staff.
  • In addition, PRIDE frequently participates and initiates programs and events at UCCS that work to further promote an LGBT+ affirming and inclusive campus. These actions are fully supported by the administration.
  • Finally, UCCS is committed to working with local LGBT+ groups and organizations, such as Pikes Peak Gay & Lesbian Community Center, which has been contracted to set-up the LGBT+ Resource Center @ MOSAIC here on campus.
  • PRESENT AREAS OF OPPORTUNITY FOR UCCS:  Use of positive LGBT+ images in marketing and advertising. (from the Out & equal Steps...)

ADVOCACY & CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY

  • With the establishment of the Chancellor's LGBT+ Task Force, and the LGBT+ Resource Center @ MOSAIC, UCCS is actively working to continually advance a positive environment for LGBT+ faculty and staff.  Still in the first phases of development, there are many opportunities in which UCCS can further its commitment to LGBT+ inclusion.
  • PRESENT AREAS OF OPPORTUNITY FOR UCCS:  Be a visible role model for LGBT+ workplace equality in the community. Support public policy efforts that protect LGBT+ workplace equality. Oppose actively any attempts that would limit or restrict LGBT+ workplace equality.  Share leading practices on LGBT+ workplace equality by supporting the Out & Equal Workplace Summit! (from the Out & equal Steps...)


FAQ's FOR LGBT FACULTY & STAFF AT UCCS

  • Does UCCS have a nondiscrimination policy that includes sexual orientation and gender identity/expression?
    In 2007, the State of Colorado added "sexual orientation" to the state's employment nondiscrimination laws. Sexual orientation in state law is defined to include heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender status. In 2008, the State of Colorado added "sexual orientation" to the state's housing and public accommodations nondiscrimination laws with SB200. This covers colleges, and again, sexual orientation in state law is defined to include heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender status. The UCCS administration is presently working with the Regents to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the college's internal comprehensive policies on nondiscrimination and inclusion.

  • Does UCCS provide domestic partner benefits?
    UCCS provides "domestic partner" benefits for LGBT+ employees. To find out about important details, please contact the Human Resources Department. Presently, the college requires a declaration of partnership to enroll in the program. The City and County of Denver provides such services, however, through the Chancellor's LGBT+ Task Force, the administration is presently researching opportunities for local documentation.

  • Does UCCS have an LGBT+ group for faculty and staff?
    Yes! The PRIDE Faculty group meets monthly and participates in various activities and events, such as Coming Out Day, Colorado Springs PrideFest, and other opportunities. PRIDE also acts as a networking group for LGBT+ faculty, and advocates for LGBT+ faculty and interests on campus via  the Chancellor's LGBT+ Task Force.

  • Does UCCS have systems in place to help with transgender employees in transition?
    Yes. The Human Resources Department is equipped to assist transgender employees with name changes, and additional assistance as required. You may also contact the LGBT+ Resource Center @ MOSAIC to address any items that may not be already solidified in UCCS's policies or systems.

  • Does UCCS provide health insurance that covers procedures or needs related to the transgender community?
    Yes. UCCS provides comprehensive health insurance to all employees, including procedures and costs associated with gender transition. However, UCCS is unable to provide for the cost of sexual reassignment surgery at this time.

  • What is the overall climate for LGBT staff & faculty at UCCS?
    UCCS received 2.5 out of 5 from the Campus Pride climate survey, but with the implementation of the new Chancellor's LGBT+ Task Force, and the LGBT+ Resource Center, we're dedicated to achieving 5 stars.

  • How can I connect with other LGBT+ faculty & staff, or the LGBT community in general?
    We recommend connecting with the PRIDE faculty group, and checking out the Colorado Springs local LGBT Resources.

  • What are some other connections that might be good for me to make?
    In addition to the LGBT+ Resource Center, we recommend checking out MOSAIC, WEST and The Matrix Center for starters. There are lots of opportunities to connect with people on campus, and these departments can help you get started.

  • How can I get involved in a leadership role?
    There are lots of opportunities to get involved on campus. From being a mentor, to serving on the LGBT+ Resource Center Advisory Committee, or from acting as a club advisor to volunteering for specific projects, there is plenty at UCCS to help you invest in the things you enjoy. To get linked in, try starting with the Human Resource Department, PRIDE, or the R.O.A.R Office. If you need additional assistance, call us at the LGBT+ Resource Center, and we'll be happy to help get you connected.

  • What if I have a question that's not listed here?
    Call the LGBT+ Resource Center at 719.255.3447 or email us at lgbtrc@uccs.edu. We're happy to help!

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