Date of Degree

6-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Women's and Gender Studies

Advisor

Paisley Currah

Subject Categories

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

Keywords

transgender, lgbt, student affairs, feminist, queer

Abstract

In an educational structure not built for marginalized students how can inequality be counteracted within the system itself? Specifically, what are the best practices to engage and empower transgender students within student involvement and leadership on college campuses, specifically through engagement within the Office of Student Life? This thesis theorizes that practices that are inclusive and respectful to transgender students creates climates that engage and retain them. It will establish an understanding of the basics of what being transgender means, discrimination that impacts this community, and reviewing the transgender collegiate experience. These cumulative aspects of the transgender experience will prove the need for specific policies and practices for these students on college campuses. In response to this foundation, this thesis outlines examples of needed policies to build inclusive spaces for transgender students. In implementing such procedures, campuses create safer and welcoming environments for students to flourish, and by moving the margin to the middle, Student Affairs can promote policies that are inclusive of all identities and highlight and encourage marginalized students to engage both socially and financially with the college, as well as counteract educational inequality. This research aims to lay the groundwork for more progressive policies and practices as the field of Student Affairs evolves with the students it serves.

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