Diversity is a spearhead of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, which strives for 'inclusive excellence' whereby students, teachers, lecturers, and employees within VU use mutual differences to stimulate more creativity and talent development. To address this objective, it is vital to create a safe studying and working environment for all and to proactively share information. VU Pride , therefore, identified the need for a guide for trans, non-binary and intersex students and staff, and worked collaboratively with students and members of staff from across departments and faculties to develop it.
The guide includes information about how to inform VU Amsterdam of your name, gender and pronouns; the location of gender inclusive bathrooms; information and tips about communication (e.g. how to tell people your pronouns or what to do if there is a problem or complaint); and links to internal and external resources and support. Several sections of the guide may also be relevant to individuals outside of this target group. For instance, the guide includes instructions for how to show your pronouns on different programs and websites that VU Amsterdam uses (e.g. Canvas and Microsoft Teams), as well as information for how to change your “given name”, which would also be relevant to anyone who does not use their legal first name for any reason (e.g. using a nick-name or middle name).
Development of the guide has also highlighted exactly where VU Amsterdam still has work to do to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for trans intersex and/or non-binary students and staff. Thus, as these things change across the university the guide will be kept up to date. We welcome any input from you for these updates, so please do not hesitate to contact us with any of your thoughts, concerns, suggestions, and feedback for the guide.
How was the guide created?
This was a collaborative process involving stakeholders at all stages of the process:
- identifying the need for a guide for trans, non-binary, and intersex students and staff
- creating a survey and collecting data (see more details in the guide)
- putting together content for the guide with students and staff from across the university.
The guide will be reviewed at regular intervals in order to update the content where needed,based on changes in processes or information.
How can you help?
Please share the guide with your networks. We welcome feedback. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your input so we can keep improving the guide. Thank you!