News and Perspectives


What’s next for queer and trans graduate students?

Monday, February 27, 2017

Tuesday, March 21st 5:30 – 6:30PM, Stub and Herb’s, 227 SE Oak Street, Minneapolis, MN 55455

With the conversion of all single-stall restrooms to gender-neutral restrooms nearing completion, it is a good time to get graduate students together and ask what is next. What change do queer and trans graduate students need on campus? How can we improve the experiences of queer and trans graduate students?

Join us for food and discussion.

If you are unable to join us but would still like to give feedback, you can submit it here:

Sponsored by Council of Graduate Students and Gender & Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life


The U’s Support for Transgender Students Remains Unchanged

Friday, February 24, 2017

By Melinda Lee, Trans Advocate at the Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life and Chair of the Transgender Commission and Stef Wilenchek, Director, Gender and Sexuality Center for Queer and Trans Life

In a February 22 Dear Colleague letter, the Trump administration withdrew protections for transgender students. Contrary to what the letter suggests, this will have a direct and devastating impact on trans and gender nonconforming students across the country. Under previous guidance by the Obama administration, it was made clear that Title IX protects the right to education for transgender students and federally funded education programs cannot discriminate based on sex, gender identity, and gender expression. We remain unwavering in our commitment to protect the dignity and rights of our University community and will continue to fully support students’ use of restrooms that align with their gender identity.


COGS President: Statement on Recent Anti-Semitic and Anti-Refugee Events on Campus

Friday, February 24, 2017

by Nicholas Goldsmith, Graduate Student Body President

The campus community has been rocked by seemingly non-stop events of targeted, visible hate. These events should not serve to take our time away from efforts to combat systemic oppression, but these events do require us to continue to vocally oppose those who express hate openly. We must both decry actions of clear bias, and work to combat cryptic and implicit acts and systems that perpetuate bias.

Faith, national origin, and ancestry have been particular targets of hate in recent events. People of Jewish faith and descent, people of Muslim faith, refugees, and immigrants have all felt targeted by recent events across our nation and on our campus.

Political attacks on refugees and those from Muslim-majority nations have become acceptable to some, but remains entirely unacceptable to me. Who are we, as a community, if we are not welcoming to new arrivals? What do we have to work for, if not to strive to be a sanctuary? In a recent Council of Graduate Students’ General Assembly meeting, multiple students disclosed that they were from a country affected by a recent executive order banning travel and refugees from seven nations. Though it is currently restrained by the courts, this action serves to further the anti-immigrant furor. The fear, confusion, and lack of welcome these students feel should be a call to action for our community. Furthermore, the repeated incidents of bias this year must serve as a reminder that we have to do something on our own campus.


Teach-in!! Teaching During the Era of “Alternative Facts”

Friday, February 24, 2017

March 3, 1:30pm-3:30pm. Scott Hall, Room 4

Speakers Include:

  • Dr. Aren Aizura, Dept. of GWSS
  • Dr. David Chang, Dept. of History
  • Dr. Ruth DeFoster, Communications Studies, St. Catherine’s University
  • Dr. Michelle Garvey Institute on the Environment, Educator Fellow
  • Dr. Annie Hill, Dept. of GWSS
  • Dr. Karen Ho, Dept. of Anthropology
  • Dr. Sima Shakhsari, Dept. of GWSS

Hosted by the GWSS Undergraduate Studies Committee and the Race, Indigeneity, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (RIGS) Initiative.

For accommodations or access information, please contact Angela at


Big Question: How can college campuses fight sexual violence effectively?

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6, 3-4:30 pm, Cowles Auditorium, Humphrey School

Sexual violence on college campuses is not new — but there is a greater awareness of its prevalence and its effects. A recent study by the Association of American Universities found that one in four undergraduate women had experienced unwanted sexual contact during her college years, and a growing number of institutions are strategizing about how to respond to the problem. 

What’s not clear is the best approach to end sexual violence on campus. Join us as we discuss how to create an environment where all students can receive an education free from fear.

For more information and to register.


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"Perspectives" stories are the views and opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect any official position of the University of Minnesota.