Queer and Trans Student Initiatives

About Queer and Trans Student Initiatives

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At Roger Williams, we work with and support students to raise awareness and acceptance of the various communities that make up our larger queer and trans community (for example; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, pansexual, or questioning communities). Through the Intercultural Center (IC) we offer a direct resource area for all members of the queer and trans communities and their allies. The office is a key component in implementing RWU's examination of our global society.

Roger Williams University is committed to ensuring our queer and trans students, faculty, staff, and administrators are protected on campus. Sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression are included in our University Non-Discrimination Policy

The IC, with leadership from the Assistant Director for Queer and Trans Student Initiatives, seeks to create a safe and affirming campus environment for our queer and trans communities through:

  • Creating a welcoming environment for all people interested in developing their understanding of queer and trans issues
  • Helping students to build communities of care, inclusion, support and trust
  • Recognizing and exploring the ability, age, ethnicity, gender, health, language, national origin, race, religion and socioeconomic differences in the queer and trans student population
  • Celebrating how differences in the queer and trans student population can enrich campus and local communities
  • Providing direct service to queer and trans students and their allies in the forms of advising, advocacy, referral, education and training, event sponsorship and co-sponsorship and leadership development
  • Providing resources to faculty, staff, University offices and others interested in ensuring that their services are inclusive and supportive of queer and trans issues
  • Conducting on-going needs assessment, campus climate assessments and regular evaluations of the Office and its services

Queer and Trans Resource and Advocacy Center

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The Queer and Trans Resource and Advocacy Center (Q TRAC) is located in the heart of RWU's campus, adjacent to the 9, 10, 11 Tower of Maple Hall. The Q TRAC houses our LGBTQIAP+ student organization, the Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) and two clubs that are committed to various issues facing womyn in the world, FEM Society and the Women's Collective.

The Q TRAC is an extension of the Intercultural Center and shares in its commitment to anti-racist, anti-ableist, and social justice centered programming. As a new space, the Q TRAC is dedicated to centering queerness by promoting gender equity and fostering deeper learning with regard to the full spectrum of romantic and sexual orientations.

Gender equity once referred solely to equity for cisgender women in a world that privileges cisgender men. Today, gender equity speaks to work that uplifts and centers the voices and the needs of our transgender communities in all of our work towards ending genderism, trans oppression, and heterosexism on our campus. Additionally, by centering queerness in our understanding of romantic and sexual orientations, the Q TRAC is well positioned to create opportunities to make tangible changes towards challenging heteronormativity on our campus.

The span of individuals and communities that do not identify with normative understandings of gender identity and romantic and sexual orientations are vast. There are deep complexities, yet beauty, in our knowledge and awareness of these various communities. We trust that, over time, the work of our team and our students will help to establish new cultural norms that will pave a clear path toward progress and positive campus culture for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender noncomforming, non-binary, queer, intersex, asexual, aromantic, demisexual, pansexual, and queer students, faculty, and staff.

Mission Statement

As an extension of Roger Williams University’s Intercultural Center, the Q TRAC serves as the central hub for individual students, student clubs, and University organizations that are dedicated to advancing gender equity and undoing heteronormativity on and off campus though programming, support, and co-curricular projects.

Safe Zone Program

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                                                    Queer pride themed decorations with a book cover reading "Love is all you need."

The Safe Zone Program is designed to educate administrators, staff, faculty, and students about the experiences and concerns of queer and trans members of our community as well as provide tools for creating supportive environments for queer and trans people.

Click here to learn more about the Safe Zone program at RWU or to register for a training!

The Kinship Collective

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This mentor program matches undergraduate students with members of our faculty and staff who identify as queer or trans people. We believe in the power of forming connections with individuals who have a shared or similar identity as one that is salient to us, particularly in developing a sense of belonging within a new community.

Mentors and mentees can meet as frequently as both individuals deem necessary. Additionally, there will be three all program socials throughout the Fall 2018 semester so you can meet other mentors/mentees and continue to build connections here at Roger. We ask our mentees to commit to being involved with the program for one academic year.

If you are interested in being one of our mentees, please click here! If you are interested in being one of our mentors, please click here!

Lavender Graduation

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In May 2018, the Intercultural Center hosted Roger Williams' inaugural Lavender Graduation. Lavender Graduations happen at universities all throughout the country and serve as an inspiring and affirming way for us to celebrate the successes of our queer and trans students. This event will create space for our LGBTQ+ students, their families, and their friends to gather one last time and to reflect on their growth throughout their time here at Roger. To learn more about the first ceremony at RWU, please click here!

Our second annual ceremony will take place on May 8, 2019. We will begin sending notifications to graduating seniors in February 2019 to begin registration for the ceremony.

Student Involvement and Advocacy

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The Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) is a student organization comprised of queer and trans identified students and their allies that is dedicated to promoting a better understanding of and awareness for queer and trans issues on and off campus. SAGA hosts a number of events throughout the academic year including RWU Coming Out Week, Trans Week of Remembrance, World AIDS Day Drag Bingo, and Pride Week. If you are interested in learning more about the club or getting involved with SAGA, please contact the executive board at saga@g.rwu.edu