Salt Lake Community College works hard to address discrimination on campus.
Although groundbreaking anti-discrimination legislation was passed earlier this year, the law essentially has no effect on SLCC policy.
“We are non-discriminating anyway,” says Kevin Miller, director for Student Conduct and Support Services for SLCC. “We already work hard to include all of our students including our LGBTQ+ students.”
SLCC currently has gender-neutral bathrooms at some campuses, and plans are in the works for gender-neutral showers in the fitness areas.
Some students may have also noticed a Safe Zone sign on the doors of some their professor’s offices.
“We provide Safe Zone training for staff and faculty,” Miller says.
The training, which is offered monthly, teaches better understanding and how to provide support for LGBTQ+ persons. Any LGBTQ+ students looking for someone to trust or confide in need only look for a Safe Zone sign.
“As a Community College, our doors are open to anyone who walks through those doors seeking education,” Miller says. “We’re going to do our best to create an environment that’s safe for students to study and a safe place for teachers to teach.”
There is always room for improvement.
“I’ve talked to students who have had trouble with professors who refuse to call them by their preferred name, or used their preferred pronoun,” says Jesse Fluetsch, a transgender general studies major at SLCC and former president of the Equality Involvement Club.
Fluetsch does see SLCC actively trying to become a better place for all students overall.
Shellie Jo Enscoe, Director for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at SLCC, also agrees that there is always room for improvement. “There is always work to be done,” she says, “I don’t believe the work around equity, diversity, inclusively will ever be complete, because we are ever evolving.”
Enscoe, who only recently moved to Utah, is impressed with SLCC’s work to address the needs and concerns of LGBTQ+ students.
So whatever happens with Utah law, SLCC will continue its work to be ahead of the curve.