Instructors have an opportunity and responsibility to create safe and accepting spaces through the use of their classrooms. To help reach this goal, SGD has created and gathered resources that will help instructors harness this opportunity and make classroom spaces more inclusive of QT students. By implementing these recommendations, instructors are helping to make KU safer, which will enhance the learning of students.
Your syllabus is one of the first exposures your students will have to you, your class, and your classroom policies. The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity encourages the use of statements on DEIB, QT (Queer and Trans) Equality and Resources, and Names and Pronouns in your syllabus. These can establish your goals for your classroom environment upfront, set ground rules, and communicate to students that you are dedicated to upholding a safe and inclusive environment for them. Syllabus statements are also a great way to make students aware of campus resources at the start of the semester.
Below are sample syllabus statements for you to copy and paste (and possibly modify) for your syllabi. Consider also including your own pronouns and how students should refer to you in your syllabus to model that it is OK (and helpful) to introduce yourself with these details.
SGD has created visuals for instructors to utilize and distribute as resources as helpful. Instructors are invited to copy any content here and paste it into they syllabus.
To request visuals (included below), please contact SGD@ku.edu
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Sample Names and Pronouns Syllabus Statement:
Everyone has the right to be referred to with their correct name and pronouns. I will provide an opportunity for you to share your name and pronouns with me and the class if you feel comfortable doing so. If at any point you wish to update your name or pronouns with me and/or with the class, I welcome and will respect that. Students who are in the process of updating their name at KU can refer to the Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity’s “Name & Gender Marker Changes at KU” guide at sgd.ku.edu/name. The instructor(s) and students in this course are expected to respect others’ identities, names and pronouns. If you are corrected after making a mistake or misgendering another student, briefly apologize, correct yourself, and move on. If you feel your identities are not being respected, including by me, I invite you to reach out to me about the issue. If you do not feel comfortable doing so, consider reaching out to other resources like the Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity or the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX.
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Sample QT (Queer and Trans) Equality and Resources Syllabus Statement:
I am committed to promoting diversity, inclusion, and safety in this classroom. The instructor(s) and students in this course are expected to respect others’ identities, including using correct names and pronouns. If you are experiencing discrimination and harassment, please consider reaching out to me. If I am the one causing harm and you do not feel comfortable approaching me about it, consider reaching out to another resource, such as the Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity or the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX. I also encourage students to learn more about campus resources. The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity (sgd.ku.edu) offers resources specifically related to queer and trans topics, including: Safe Zone Training, the Trans Clothing Closet, free chest binder distribution, a list of all gender restrooms at KU, and a guide to name & gender marker changes at KU.
I also encourage students to learn more about campus resources. The Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity offers resources specifically related to queer and trans topics, including:
Free chest binder distribution
All Gender Restrooms at KU List
Diversity and Inclusion Statements:
The Center for Teaching Excellence at KU offers several examples of sample syllabus language for a Diversity and Inclusion Statement. For example:
“The University of Kansas supports an inclusive learning environment in which diversity and individual differences are understood, respected, and appreciated. We believe that all students benefit from training and experiences that will help them to learn, lead, and serve in an increasingly diverse society. All members of our campus community must accept the responsibility to demonstrate civility and respect for the dignity of others. Expressions or actions that disparage a person’s or group’s race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, gender, gender identity / expression, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, or disability are contrary to the mission of the University. We expect that KU students, faculty, and staff will promote an atmosphere of respect for all members of our KU community.”
Visit CTE’s “Creating an Inclusive Syllabus” and “Tips for Tips for Teaching About Diversity and Equity” webpages for more information and sample syllabus language.
CTE’s Flexible Teaching Resource also offers other sample syllabus language for various topics on their “Syllabus Preparation and Language” page, including: Covid Policies; Accommodations for Disabilities; Diversity and Inclusion; Guidelines for Online Etiquette; Student Support, Mental Health, and Self-Care; and Family Friendly Course Policies.
Note on sources:
These sample syllabus texts utilize, in some cases, language from campus resources’ websites, promotional materials or mission statements. Some segments draw inspiration from, but do not copy the exact language of, other sample syllabus texts such as those from Binghamton University and California State University - Chico.