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LGBTQ Resources & FAQs

There are a number of resources and programs on campus specifically supporting LGBTQ students and their allies.
The Lavender graduation celebration.

LGBTQ Health and Wellness

LGBTQ Initiatives and the Shaw Wellness Institute partner to create programs for students which promote healthy, purposeful, and balanced lives within the Colgate Community. LGBTQ students, staff, and faculty can find a variety of resources on campus to assist in their journey. 

These resources include:
  • Use of the center for group meetings or trainings
  • Wellness Institute Library collection
  • HIV/AIDS awareness and testing resources
  • Co-sponsorships for student run events
  • Program outreach for sexual health topics by Peer Health Educators

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an active LGBTQ student organization?
Yes! There are two SGA-recognized clubs that meet regularly:

Lambda provides a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students to explore their identities. This relaxed group often focuses on support and social activities.
Advocates is the equivalent of a gay-straight alliance. It is responsible for LGBTQ-related activism on campus. Advocates sponsors events like National Coming Out Day, Day of Silence, Ally Appreciation Week, and Queerfest: Celebrating All Identities.
Is there a campus program for LGBTQ-related concerns?
Yes! LGBTQ Initiatives is a program open to all students. We are located in the same space as the Shaw Wellness Institute, in Cutten Hall. We do all of the following:
  • Provide educational training, such as Safe Zone
  • Sponsor speakers and authors whose work expands the campus conversation around gender and sexuality
  • Sponsor student conference presenters and participants for local and regional conferences
  • Offer a safe environment for you to explore gender identity, gender expression, sexuality, and sexual orientation
What is it like living on campus?
The Office of Residential Life is committed to providing a living environment that is welcoming to all gender identities. Gender inclusive housing affords Colgate students the option to live on campus with whomever they choose, regardless of biological sex, gender, or gender identity. Effective in the 2013-2014 academic year, upper-level students, regardless of their sex or gender, may request a gender-inclusive bedroom, suite, apartment, townhouse or college house living as part of the housing lottery process. First-year students may also request to live in gender inclusive housing but must do so by way of a special request made to the Office of Residential Life, prior to the room preference deadline.

Our students are very active in campus clubs and organizations. All LGBTQ groups are open to any student, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. These groups are very active in sponsoring programming and guest speakers on campus.
Are LGBTQ-sensitive counseling services available?
Yes! All members of our professional Counseling Center are trained to assist students of any sexual orientation or gender identity. Some of our staff have extensive training and experience working with LGBTQ clients. Additionally, the staff have attended Safe Zone training -- an educational program about the terminology, resources, coming out process, and experiences of those in the LGBTQ community.
What offices are supportive of LGBTQ students and issues?
In addition to LGBTQ Initiatives, you may turn to the Counseling Center, the Office of the Chaplains, and Health Services for confidential support and discussion about LGBTQ-related issues.

There are also faculty, staff, and students across campus who have participated in our Safe Zone program about the terminology, resources, coming out process, and experiences of those in the LGBTQ community. Those who have participated in the training mark their doors to indicate their space as a SafeZone. Most of the offices in the Dean of the College have participated in this training, as well as many other staff and students across campus.
What activities are sponsored for LGBTQ students?
Some programs include regular welcome mixers, awareness programs for National Coming Out Day, Bisexual Awareness Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance, alumni events, Day of Silence, guest speakers, movie nights, a weekly Family Dinner, and our Lavender Graduation Ceremony. The LGBTQ Studies minor program also sponsors a number of speakers and invited authors.
Do LGBTQ bias-related incidents occur on campus?
Unfortunately there have been past reported incidents related to LGBTQ harassment, homophobia, and discrimination. However, as an institution we do not tolerate harassment and discrimination, and such incidents are handled seriously. Support can be found with Safe Zone-trained faculty and staff, university harassment advisers, and the Counseling Center. Education is in an ongoing process of learning and growing for everyone on campus, and our community is increasingly inclusive and supportive.

Learn more about Colgate's bias, harassment, and sexual misconduct policies.
How does the university respond to LGBTQ bias-related incidents?
We take all LGBTQ bias and harassment incidents very seriously. Concerns or complaints can be reported to LGBTQ Initiatives, Campus Safety, or Lyn Rugg (University Harassment Officer), or by filing an online report. Depending on the type of incident and whether the perpetrator is known or not, there are a variety of ways Colgate may respond, including enforcing the Policy on Bias-Related Conduct and student handbook policies.
Is sexual orientation mentioned in the university's Policy on Bias-Related Conduct?
Yes! Currently, sex and sexual orientation are also included protected categories in our Policy on Bias-Related Conduct.

Federal and state laws, such as Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and the New York State Human Rights Law, prohibit discrimination and harassment that are based on a range of characteristics, including sexual orientation. New York State law specifically prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation, which is defined as an individual’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or asexuality.
Are gender identity and gender expression mentioned in the university's Policy on Bias-Related Conduct?
Yes! Currently, gender identity and gender expression are also included protected categories in our Policy on Bias-Related Conduct.
Does Colgate offer employees domestic partner benefits?

Yes! In order for a domestic partner to be included in the programs, a signed application (available from human resources) must be submitted. Colgate University extends the same benefits to persons who meet the university's definition of domestic partner that the university presently extends to spouses of employees to the extent permitted by law and by the underwriting guidelines imposed by the insurance companies. Find more information in the personnel policies and benefits handbook.

Name Change Information

Can I change the name on my campus ID card?
Yes, students can request to have a new Campus Identification Card issued to them after including a preferred first name on their academic file with the Office of the Registrar. All student ID cards and records maintain the same Banner ID#. The Department of Campus Safety is located at 88 Hamilton St. E-mail: cusafety@colgate.edu.
How can students add a preferred name to their campus record?
Most students include their preferred first names on their Common Application for admission, but if not, students may visit the Office of the Registrar to make the request. Only legal names will appear on the academic transcript and diploma. In the event that a student legally changes their name, a name change request form should be filed with the Office of the Registrar. This name will appear on all academic records, including transcript and diploma. The Office of the Registrar is located at 126 McGregory Hall, Colgate University. E-mail: registrar@colgate.edu

Students may request the addition of a preferred first name to their academic record to appear on their academic file alongside their legal full name. A preferred first name will appear in the online and printed course roster; Dean’s, advisor’s, coach’s dashboard directory; Campus Directory; and on the student’s graduation checklist. A preferred first name can be used on your Portal account by logging in, and editing the “My Information” tab under “My Contact Information.”

Students can change their title (Mr., Miss, Ms., Mrs., no title) for campus correspondence and documentation by request to the Office of the Registrar. All campus correspondence and materials should utilize the preferred first name except for university payroll and financial aid.
How can alumni change their name on their campus record?
Only legal names will appear on the academic transcript and diploma. In the event that an alum legally changes their name, a name change request form should be filed with the Office of the Registrar. This name will appear on all academic records, including transcript and diploma. The Office of the Registrar is located at 126 McGregory Hall, Colgate University. E-mail: registrar@colgate.edu

Gender-Inclusive Options

Are there gender-inclusive restroom facilities on campus?
Colgate has gender-inclusive restrooms in the Case-Geyer Library, Chapel, Lawrence Hall, Edge Cafe, Dana Arts Center, Huntington Gym, Center for Women's Studies, Conant House, and Office of Residential Life. Most of these are single occupancy facilities. Please e-mail lgbtq@colgate.edu if you are aware of other restrooms not listed below.

CAMPUS RESTROOM INVENTORY
Are there gender-inclusive housing options for students?

Yes! The Office of Residential Life is committed to providing a living environment that is welcoming to all gender identities.  Gender inclusive housing affords Colgate students the option to live on campus with whomever they choose, regardless of biological sex, gender, or gender identity.  Effective in the 2013-2014 academic year, upper-level students, regardless of their sex or gender, may request a gender-inclusive bedroom, suite, apartment, town house or college house living as part of the housing lottery process.  First year students may also request to live in gender inclusive housing but must do so by way of a special request made to the Office of Residential Life, prior to the room preference deadline. For questions or concerns about options or accommodations please call 315-228-7367 or E-mail: reslife@colgate.edu