AFTER A YEAR, THE COLLEGE ENACTS NEW RESOURCES FOR TRANS STUDENTS
By William Farris
The Clackamas Print
On May 17 of last year the Clackamas Print released a story about the lack of resources available for trans students on campus. At the time, Clackamas Community College stated that while they didn’t have many ways of supporting students, they hoped that over time this would change, but there were still other options available. Since then, much has changed, not just on campus, but on a national scale; almost a year later, it’s time to see exactly what’s changed.
The biggest resource on campus for LGBTQ questions and issues is currently the counseling department. Counselors can help students receive support, answer their questions and even guide them to find various local groups that can help with students who are transitioning or questioning.
Groups and communities like The Living Room and Planned Parenthood remain great places to go for LGBTQ people. However, since the college still lacks on-campus dedicated programs, directing students is still the best way of supplying resources for transitioning, though it has been stated that on-campus options are expanding.
The biggest change that the counseling department has seen has been in the opinion of students and the number seeking aid. Counselor and academic adviser Ignacio Gonzalez said, “The overall view from my colleagues is that we are all definitely seeing more variety of students, and I think they’re becoming more comfortable knowing there are services in here.” He also stated that the department was seeing more students now, coming in and talking with counselors since last year.
The counseling department remains an open space to talk to people and ask questions if students need to, but still lacks resources for students to transition or get started.
Places like the Multicultural Center and Associated Student Government are also inclusive spaces for LGBTQ activity, but still don’t have many ways to help students at this time. The multicultural center does, however, do its best to reach out to students with events and information. On the table outside the Multiculture Center office are pamphlets and packets for anyone to grab, that provides information for trans people and supporters alike. They have also hosted events like the showing of LGBTQ film Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins and celebrating national coming out day to help give support to the community.
“We did events to reach out more to students we don’t know, or hard to reach,” said multicultural center leader Xiao Tan.
ASG does its best to foster a supportive and inclusive environment on campus as well. They have invited multiple organizations with trans aid and resources to health fairs on-campus to help with issues affecting LGBTQ students like housing and suicide prevention.
Even though they don’t have direct ways to help most of the time, ASG president Jairo Rodriguez said,“We do have some things in our files for resources, and were still building up on those.” He also expressed his confidence that they would gain more resources to help in the future.
While CCC still lacks resources for trans students and has even lost some like the Gender Sexuality Alliance which hasn’t met in over a term, the environment and opinion around the school has changed.
More students are coming out and looking for support, while the student body and its various organizations do more to embrace diversity and be more welcoming. Even if the school still has more to do, it still continues to move in the right direction.