Meet Carleton University’s New Co-ordinator, Trans and Non-Binary Inclusion

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Quote the Raven: Jess
Equity and Inclusive Communities

Jess

There are many new and exciting initiatives for Equity and Inclusive Communities (EIC) this year. In August 2019, EIC revealed a new website and departmental name to the Carleton community.

Now, please meet Jess Lundy, the department’s new co-ordinator for Trans and Non-Binary Inclusion in this Q&A interview. They are here to introduce themselves, provide insight about this new role in the Carleton community, as well as how you may access their services.

Hi Jess! Please introduce yourself and tell us about the role of the Trans and Non-Binary co-ordinator.

I’m Jess (they/them), a recent master’s graduate from Carleton’s Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s & Gender Studies, and Equity and Inclusive Communities’ new Trans and Non-Binary inclusion co-ordinator.

This vital new role was proposed and  developed by The Carleton Trans Advocacy Group (CTAG) – a volunteer grassroots collective on campus that have been doing trans advoTcacy and harm-reduction work here at Carleton over the past few years. This contract role, a first-of-its-kind for Carleton, is funded by the Office of the Vice-President (Students and Enrolment) will report to EIC and  be accountable to CTAG’s ongoing initiatives.  The role will serve as an important liaison between  CTAG, activists, researchers and other partners on campus.

Some of the important work CTAG has conducted to date includes:

  • Creating a campus that is more accessible and safe to Trans and Non-Binary students;
  • Ensuring Trans human rights violations are heard and addressed; and,
  • Conducting research to ensure the university has the data to improve the lived experiences of trans and non-binary students and service users on campus.

CTAG research,  that of my trans peers on campus, and  my own lived experiences and – tell us that Trans and Non-Binary students still need basic things like safe and accessible places to use the bathroom; comfortable places to seek health and wellness care without being mis-gendered; policies that protect us from precarious learning, and working interactions with peers, faculty and/or staff. Finally, we need general access to all that Carleton currently offers its non-trans (or cis-gender) students.

How does this role help students? How may students access services offered?

This role will be instrumental in promoting the inclusion of students of all genders. This position is also responsible to Trans and Gender Non-Binary students who may navigate multiple intersecting identities on campus; taking an intersectional approach to Trans advocacy and harm-reduction is key.

Developing policies, infrastructure mandates for facilities, and trans-friendly training with intersectional concerns in mind related to class, race, ethnicity, and ability will help the most marginalized of students on campus.

What would you like to accomplish while in this role?

Although the specific deliverables for the role are currently being developed, there are a few goals I would love to share. Carleton’s human rights policy currently protects students on the grounds of gender, however, one of my main goals is to develop a more substantive policy that addresses Trans students’ well-being at Carleton.

We also hope to create an ‘everything trans-related’ online hub for students, faculty, and staff. This hub would allow everyone to access these future policies and find general information about campus services, name-change information, and even an online portal where students can provide us with feedback or inform us about trans-related issues.

After conducting ‘bathroom audits’ and collecting floor plans, another goal is to update Carleton’s all-gender washroom map and make it widely available (our new website would help with this).

I will be working closely with CTAG and campus facilities to understand where we can make immediate improvements to washroom infrastructure and develop longer-term strategies towards making our bathrooms all-gender inclusive.

Stay tuned! There are more goals in the works and much more ground to be covered!

How may students contact you?

I would be happy to help and can be reached at jess.lundy@carleton.ca; they may also contact the Equity and Inclusive Communities office Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and ask for Jess at 613-520-2600 x 5622.

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