Community Message: October 25, 2018

President Williams writes to the Muhlenberg community

 Thursday, October 25, 2018 01:10 PM

I write today with a feeling of both indignation and sadness. It has been reported that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is exploring an action that would remove any recognition of and protection for transgender and gender non-binary individuals. Muhlenberg is such a special place—one that I care for a great deal—and I believe deeply in the words of our institutional diversity statement: “We believe that the Muhlenberg community should cultivate a desire and an ability to understand, mutually respect and meaningfully engage with manifold perspectives and experiences…”

The College has been clear in its policies and actions that all forms of gender discrimination including gender identity are protected as it relates to the rights and privileges of all of our faculty, staff and students. We will continue to maintain our commitment to enhancing our campus community as an inclusive space that effectively supports transgender and gender non-binary individuals. Muhlenberg’s Diversity Strategic Plan articulates that commitment with initiatives such as increased gender inclusive restrooms and residential options, as well as access to support resources on campus. We will remain steadfast in our dedication to the ideals of an inclusive community.

We live in incredibly challenging times and there is nothing more important than the health, safety and emotional well-being of our faculty, staff and students. As such, I know that the discussion of these issues in the news can be incredibly overwhelming and harmful. I want to remind everyone to take care of yourselves and one another. In support of this, Muhlenberg’s Offices of Student Affairs, Academic Affairs, Human Resources, and Chaplain’s office will follow-up and provide resources and support to individuals and to offer opportunities for us to be in community with one another and to learn more about the pending actions and their impact.


John I. Williams Jr.