October 10, 2017
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
The news over the last several days has once again left many in our community feeling vulnerable, and so I wanted to take a moment to reassure everyone at Trinity that we will continue to uphold our policies and practices that support and value all members of the community.
Late last week, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo reversing a Justice Department policy that protected transgender workers from discrimination under federal law. In his memo, Sessions said that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not prohibit “discrimination based on gender identity, per se, including transgender status.”
Please be assured that the announcement by Sessions will have no effect on Trinity College’s policies or practices. Our statement on our commitment to diversity, found in the college’s employee handbook, makes clear the college’s commitment to nondiscrimination on the basis of, among other things, gender and gender identity or expression. Connecticut state law also bans discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression in both public and private employment.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration late on Sunday put forth a list of demands related to immigration—those things the president has said he will need to extend protections for those U.S. residents with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status. Those who had been hopeful that an agreement could be reached to protect the hundreds of thousands of DACA residents are now worried about such prospects given the long list of demands (among them: funding for a southern border wall and a crackdown on sanctuary cities). It’s not clear how this will end, but again, I want to reaffirm Trinity’s unwavering support for DACA students. We will continue to do all we can within the law to protect and support our students. Please refer to the list of resources and information we’ve compiled for DACA and undocumented students, which we hope is useful both to those students and to others in the community who want to provide support.
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience