Gender and Sexual Diversity

Welcome

Colby’s Gender and Sexual Diversity Program provides education, support, and advocacy to foster a positive campus climate with respect to gender, sexuality, and sexual culture.

We work to eradicate issues of sexism, homophobia, sexual violence, and other forms of physical, psychological, systemic, and institutional violence based on gender, sex, and sexuality; and consider social justice from the relationship between gender, sexuality, sex, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, ability, national status, and religion.

Our Vision

Informed by the wider Colby vision of an inclusive and respectful campus, the Gender and Sexual Diversity (GSD) Program strives to create and inspire a community that: 1) challenges and works to end discrimination and oppression based on real and perceived differences in gender identity, gender expression, sex, and sexual orientation, and the intersections among these and other dimensions of identity; 2) promotes honest and sustained dialogue about difficult issues; 3) is committed to safety and justice for all its members.

Sexual Violence Prevention

At Colby College, primary prevention is our highest goal when addressing sexual violence. This means that we offer educational programs and support services that challenge the beliefs, biases, and behaviors that perpetuate sexual violence. On Colby’s campus, faculty, staff, and students are working together to create a climate in which sexual violence is impermissible and speaking out against sexual violence is the norm.

Sexual Violence Prevention Peer Educators

Educators schedule regular office hours during the fall prevention training cycle for student-to-student engagement about how we define, experience, and respond to sexual misconduct at Colby.

Transgender Resources

    Residential Life

    The housing process at Colby is gender neutral except for first-years. First-years are roomed together in doubles or triples based on gender, but for the remainder of your stay you can choose a roommate regardless of their gender. Kim Kenniston, associate director of campus life, can help if you do not feel comfortable rooming with someone of the same gender as well as if you would like access to a single-occupancy restroom. Our goal at Colby is for you to have a positive rooming experience, so please do not hesitate to reach out with questions about possible arrangements.

    Counseling Services

    All counselors at Colby are self-identified allies or part of the queer community. Additionally, counselors are available to help you navigate your identity and will always use your preferred name and pronouns.

    Health Services

    The Garrison-Foster Health Center has the same capabilities as your family practitioner. It can help you in the process of deciding on and obtaining hormones and surgery. They are in contact with specialists in Portland and Boston, but there are also plans for a transgender health clinic out of Inland Hospital in Waterville. If you have Colby student insurance, trans health services are covered by 80 percent, with a 20 percent coinsurance. Practitioners can also guide you to specialists near your home (if in the U.S.) and can figure out what your personal insurance covers. In addition, the health center is currently working with The Bridge to make its forms more gender inclusive. If you have any questions, please contact the health center.

    Protections at Colby

    At Colby, we will fully respect your gender identity. From housing to restrooms to names and pronouns, Colby is committed to making sure you feel safe and comfortable. However, no institution is perfect and we acknowledge that transgressions occur. When they do, we have a variety of systems for reporting and taking action against gender discrimination. Our harassment policy includes Title IX as a possible avenue for taking action. Additionally, we have Bias Incident Prevention and Response (BIPR) reporting for incidents from bias to hate crimes. You can either file anonymously or named, and you can ask for there to be no action taken against perpetrators if you wish. If you have any questions, please contact Emily Schusterbauer, director of the gender and sexual diversity program/associate director of the Pugh Center.

    Restrooms

    With the hearty approval of President David Greene, Colby is committed to creating a gender neutral restroom in every building on campus. As of March 2017, there are more than 50 gender neutral restrooms in buildings throughout and off campus. These restrooms are all single occupancy and will have disposal boxes for pads, tampons, etc. While most of these restrooms are not in dorms, all buildings on Robert’s Row have two, locking, single-occupancy restrooms and showers in each. While some of these cannot be officially marked all-gender restrooms because they have two sinks, they are still included in this list. For a comprehensive map, please click here.

    Future Projects at Colby

    In the words of President David Greene, Colby will not be behind the curve on transgender issues. Instead, we are dedicated to continuing action and improvements. In the near future, we will be sending out a climate survey, providing staff and student trainings, and creating inclusive and informed scripts for tour guides. In addition, we are working with the Alfond Athletic Center to create communication between schools on transgender policies, to build transgender-friendly facilities in the future athletic complex, and to develop a healthy climate for transgender athletes among athletic teams.

    GSD Student Clubs/Organizations