Statement in Support of Non-Discrimination

Dear Chatham Students, Staff & Faculty, 

The New York Times recently reported that the Federal Government is considering narrowing the definition of gender exclusively to a binary (male and female). You can read more on the issue and its possible impact on higher education institutions in this Chronicle of Higher Education article.

While this policy change may or may not become a reality, we want to reiterate that Chatham does not and will not discriminate on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Our mission and core values commit us to welcoming students of all genders within our campus community and to always strive to create a diverse and inclusive campus that is a positive and safe learning, living, and working environment for all.

In addition, we have proposed to our statewide Association that Pennsylvania private colleges and universities come together to make a collective statement on this issue. We also encourage you to contact your legislators and vote in the upcoming election to make your voice heard on this and other issues that matter to you.

We think it is also important to recognize that the marginalization of trans and gender non-conforming people has led to gender and sexual based violence in our culture. At Chatham, the Gender and Sexual Violence Prevention Committee of the Diversity and Inclusion Council and many other campus partners are committed to creating a culture of mutual respect, equity, and justice to prevent gender violence. For more on Chatham’s Campus Climate initiatives, please visit: http://chatham.edu/womens-leadership/#CampusClimate.

If you are a campus member and would like to speak with someone about these issues or need additional support, please do not hesitate to contact Student Affairs, the Diversity & Inclusion Council, the Women’s Institute, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, or the Title IX Office.

We continue to stand with our trans and gender non-conforming / non-binary students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members. In support, we would ask anyone who is able to join us and others from the community on the quad at 3 PM today to join in students’ advocacy on this matter and to take a photo of support and solidarity.

Finally, to move forward our work in this area of Gender Inclusive Student Policies and Practices, we welcome meeting with individual students and student groups to update them with current initiatives/recommendations and to hear how we can best support our students on campus.  

Sincerely, 

Zauyah Waite
VP of Student Affairs/Dean of Students
Co-Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Council 

Darlene Motley 
Dean of School of Arts, Science & Business 
Co-Chair, Diversity & Inclusion Council 

Jessie Ramey
Director, Chatham University Women’s Institute 
Co-Chair of Gender and Sexual Violence Prevention (GSVP) Subcommittee, Diversity and Inclusion Council

 Nichole Bayliss
Assistant Professor
Co-Chair of Gender and Sexual Violence Prevention (GSVP) Subcommittee, Diversity and Inclusion Council

David Finegold
President 

Chatham University