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The Trans* Task Force

Mission Statement

The Trans* Task Force was created in Fall 2016 as part of PLU’s response to the Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students released by the Department of Justice and Department of Education in May 2016. This group’s mission is to create a campus that is inclusive and welcoming of all students, regardless of gender identity, and to insure that students who identify as trans* have the resources and support necessary to persist and succeed.

The Trans* Task Force meets 2-3 times each semester and is coordinated by Angie Hambrick, Assistant Vice President of Diversity, Justice and Sustainability and Dr. Jennifer Smith, Director of the Center for Gender Equity and Faculty Member in Women’s and Gender Studies. Members include faculty/staff representatives from Residential Life, Career Connections, the Health and Counseling Centers, Marketing and Communications, the Registrar’s Office, Campus Ministry, and Student Rights and Responsibilities as well as students.


The initial goals of the Trans* Task Force were to:

  • Assess PLU’s current compliance with items outlined in the Dear Colleague Letter as well as the campus climate regarding gender variance.
  • Develop a plan to fill any gaps in compliance that are identified and to continue to improve campus climate.
  • Coordinate with offices and departments that are part of this plan to insure execution and assessment.

After completing the assessment, the following priorities emerged:

  • Provide a centralized place for community members to access resources and information.
  • Create a streamlined and clear process for changing names and indicating pronouns on forms and within university documentation processes.
  • Develop and deliver training for faculty, staff and students regarding LGBTQ+ identities and issues.
  • Support the development of more LGBTQ+ awareness and educational programs.


To date, the Trans* Task Force has accomplished the following:

  • Four trainings facilitated by Dr. Patricia Fawver (a sexologist specializing in the care of trans individuals) and featuring a panel of trans individuals and their loved ones were offered to staff during 2016-2017 academic year. Approximately 100 staff members attended.
  • A comprehensive resource webpage was created by the Division of Marketing and Communications.
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance was co-hosted by the Center for Gender Equity and the Gender Alliance of the South Sound in November 2016, bringing together over 50 Tacoma and PLU community members.
  • Sharps containers were installed in the Anderson University Center and residence halls (Harstad, Hong, Kreidler, Ordal, Stuen, and Hinderlie.)
  • A resource sharing listserv was created.
  • A group for trans students began meeting, coordinated and supported by members of the Trans Task Force.
  • A Lavender graduation ceremony will be held in May 2017, and a Lavender Wing in Ordal Hall–a Gender Inclusive Wing and also a Residential Learning Community focused on the exploration and understanding of LGBTQ+ identities and experiences–will open in Fall 2017.
  • Initial conversations have taken place to revive the Queer Ally Network and training.
  • Continuing projects include expanding training opportunities, publicizing the resources webpage, streamlining name change processes, and instituting a policy that all newly constructed or significantly renovated buildings will include gender inclusive restrooms.


Angie TinkerForensics Forum Assistant CoachDebatetinkerar@plu.edu(208) 853-8271
Asuka GoyaAlumna
August GilesAlumnus
Connie GardnerAssociate Director for Student Rights and ResponsibilitiesStudent Involvement & Leadershipgardneca@plu.edu(253) 535-7462
Dawn MikalatosCareer AdvisorCareer Connectionsmikaladd@plu.edu(253) 535-7459
Hal DeLaRosbyDirector of Academic AdvisingAcademic Advisingdelarosby@plu.edu(253) 535-8259
Hilary VoASPLU PresidentASPLUasplupres@plu.edu(253) 535-7484
Jen RudeUniversity PastorCampus Ministryrudejl@plu.edu(253) 535-7465
Jes TaklaDirector of Residential ProgramsResidential Lifejes.takla@plu.edu(253) 535-7597
Kevin BergRegistrarRegistrar's Officebergka@plu.edu(253) 535-7890
Kim RianoDirector of the Health and Counseling CentersHealth Centerriano@plu.edu(253) 535-7337
Lace M. SmithExecutive Director of Content DevelopmentMarketing & Communicationssmithla@plu.edu(253) 535-7436
Laurie TurnerDirector of Athletics and RecreationAthletics Administrationturnerll@plu.edu(253) 535-7361
Maggie HendricksonResident DirectorResidential Life Officehendrime@plu.edu(253) 535-8349
Marceline RaflowskiStudentraflowski@plu.edu
Rachel BetronResident DirectorResidential Life Officebetronr@plu.edu(253) 535-8600
Tolu TaiwoOutreach and Prevention CoordinatorCenter for Gender Equitytolu.taiwo@plu.edu(253) 538-6303
TBD: Faculty Representatives for 2017-2018Campus Life and Faculty Affairs Committees