May 29, 2019

LGBT Pride Month: Supporting Transgender People on Campus
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month) is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall uprising in Greenwich Village and recognize the impact that LGBT individuals have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally. The Library of Congress maintains a comprehensive inventory of executive and legislative documents related to LGBT Pride Month as well as historical information on their website. Celebrations typically include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, concerts, and LGBT Pride Month events. While June is outside of the typical academic calendar for the majority of college and university students, many activities and events are held on or near campuses. The month of observation also serves as an opportunity for colleges and universities to review their efforts to support the variety of people living, working, and studying in their communities.
The need to support the LGBTQ population, and more specifically transgender people, is apparent from a multitude of studies. Data analyzed by Stolzenberg and Hughes and discussed in the article " The Experiences of Incoming Transgender College Students: New Data on Gender Identity" shows that self-rated emotional health for more than 52 percent of transgender college students is below average or in the lowest 10 percent relative to their peers. This is compared to the national sample ranking their emotional health as above average or in the top 10 percent relative to their peers. One of the major contributing factors appears to be a much higher rate of depression: 47.2 percent of transgender students reported feeling depressed frequently, as compared to 9.5 percent of the national sample. Statistics from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2018 show higher than the national average suicide rates among transgender youth.
A 2018 study, " What Is Needed, What Is Valued: Trans Students' Perspectives on Trans-Inclusive Policies and Practices in Higher Education," of 500 transgender and non-binary undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent alumni, reveals that their on-campus priorities include gender-neutral restrooms, non-discrimination policies that are inclusive of gender identity, and the ability to change one's name on campus records without a legal name change. This study's findings parallel those from the  2018 LGBTQ Youth Report. It is reasonable to posit that these young people will likely seek out higher education institutions that provide a more positive and inclusive educational experience.
To identify areas where institutions of higher education (IHEs) are strong or may need improvements, the Campus Pride Index sets the bar higher for LGBTQ-inclusive policies, programs, and practices. The index is owned and operated by Campus Pride, a national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create safer, more LGBTQ-friendly learning environments at colleges and universities. The index ranks IHEs' efforts in eight categories, is searchable, and any IHE may participate. To begin, a campus official representing the institution must take the online self-assessment. This individual should be responsible for LGBTQ issues and/or able to represent the campus in a professional capacity.
The website also houses the  Campus Pride HBCU Clearinghouse for LGBTQ Inclusion that identifies 14 topics the HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) either have or do not have, such as a non-discrimination statement inclusive of sexual orientation, non-discrimination statement inclusive of gender identity/expression, and LGBTQ studies program/LGBTQ specific course offerings.
Many colleges and universities are bringing awareness of this topic and providing resources to their communities. Mount Holyoke College provides a page of helpful information on supporting trans and non-binary students. The section "The Crucial First Five Minutes of the Semester" provides a few reliable techniques to establish mutual respect with students in the first class meeting, including how to conduct introductions, utilizing gender neutral/affirming ways to address students, and a tip sheet for making classrooms welcoming. The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender Resource Center has a helpful page on gender pronouns. Vanderbilt University posted helpful information for faculty on Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary in the University Classroom.
For additional resources on this topic, visit our online library and use search tag "LGBTQ."

Anxious person
Student Anxiety Continues to Rise, Part 1: The Data
Anxiety disorder among college students continues to rise, according to preliminary findings from researchers at the University of California (UC) Berkeley Institute for the Future of Young Americans at the Goldman School of Public Policy. The two-page release, Anxiety Disorder on College Campuses: The New Epidemic (PDF) found that nationally the percent of students who reported being diagnosed or treated for anxiety disorder in the last 12 months doubled between 2008 and 2016 from 10 to 20 percent. This confirms annual findings (PDF) from the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors that anxiety continues to be the most frequent concern amongst college students.
Richard Scheffler, a professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy and School of Public Health, believes the data supports using the term "epidemic" to describe what is happening on college campuses across the country. He says, "we need a heightened national awareness" of what's happening among college students and young adults with regards to anxiety disorder. Scheffler and his researchers examined nine years of data from the annual student National College Health Assessment survey and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, two nationwide examinations of student well-being, and conducted one-on-one interviews with 30 UC Berkeley students who identified as suffering from anxiety disorder. Although Scheffler and his team were unable to firmly establish the causes for the rise in anxiety after this work, they were able to establish strong correlations from their work. Specifically, they found that financial stress, computer use, and a mother's education level all correlated with higher rates of anxiety. The surveys used in the analysis did not ask about the fathers' level of education.
  • Students from families with difficulty paying bills were 2.7 times more likely to have anxiety disorder than those with greater financial resources.
  • Students who spent more than 20 hours of leisure time per week on computers and other digital devices were 53% more likely to be anxious than those who spent less time in front of a screen (≤5 hours per week).
  • Young adults with mothers who had at least an undergraduate degree had a 45% greater probability of having an anxiety disorder than young adults with mothers who do not have a college degree.
Other serious issues can result from anxiety disorder. An associated 8.8-fold increase in the probability of a substance use disorder (alcohol or other drugs) at the University of California, and a 3.2-fold increase nationally, was identified for those with diagnosed or treated anxiety. Other negative outcomes that were correlated with anxiety disorder include an increased probability of having been sexually assaulted and increased probability of attempting suicide.
There is also an enormous cost to those with anxiety disorder. Between 2008 and 2015, emergency department visits increased by 260% and inpatient visits increased by 325%. In addition, treatment in 2015 cost nearly $3 billion - about triple the cost in 2008. Finally, with all else equal, young people with anxiety disorders earn 11% less than young people without anxiety disorders.

To find additional facts and statistics about anxiety disorder and depression in teens, college students, and young adults, please visit the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Next week, in Part 2 of  Student Anxiety Continues to Rise , we'll examine how institutions of higher education are responding to and supporting students' mental health needs on campus.

Professional Development Opportunities

Title: Considering the Whole Person: Contexts for LGBTQ People of Color Mental and Behavioral Health Treatment
Organization: National Council for Behavioral Health
Date: June 12, 2019 at 3:00 PM ET
Location: Online
Fee: Free
Title: IACLEA's 61st Annual Conference & Exposition
Organization: International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators
Dates: June 25-28, 2019
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Fee: Registration fee
Title: SPECTRUM Conference
Organization: The State University of New York
Dates: July 9-10, 2019
Location: Albany, NY
Fee: Registration fee

For additional trainings and events, access our searchable online calendar

Virtual Professional Development
Through our Virtual Professional Development initiative, you can access free, online educational opportunities.
Campus Public Safety Online
Learn about our free webinar series, register for upcoming webinars, and view archived recordings on demand.
Emerging Issues Forum Reports
Download, print, and share findings from critical issues forums of campus public safety leaders, subject matter experts, and practitioners.

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This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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