Board History

In 2003, an advisory board was created to provide recommendations on supporting the LGBTQ+ community at James Madison University. Existing for many years, this board worked to see that a program was created to institutionalize the support that LGBTQ+ students received. Once that mission was completed by the hiring of an Assistant Director, the board disassembled without a clear goal in 2013. In spring 2019, the advisory board was reinstated, in order to continue supporting the work of SOGIE, as well as provide guidance on campus-wide issues affecting LGBTQ+ students. 

Purpose

Creating intentional change that transforms JMU into an inclusive community where all students belong.

Composition

The SOGIE Advisory Board consists of representatives from each area of student affairs. There are also staff members that represent key areas of campus, and faculty that are connected and committed to LGBTQ+ issues on campus. 

Current and Past Projects
  • Campus Pride Index Review: reviewed our campus pride index to see where the advisory board should focus its efforts; completed 12/2019
  • Alumni Group: provided support and connection from SOGIE to the new Alumni Association LGBTQ+ group, The Lavender Chapter; completed 10/2020
  • Trans @ JMU Resource Guide: creating a website and booklet with all the information that transgender students will need when they come to JMU; completed 11/2020
  • LGBTQ+ Inclusion Guide for faculty and staff: creating an online guide of best practices for LGBTQ+ inclusion for faculty and staff.
  • HR/Inclusive Hiring Practices: connecting with HR to see what practices we have that make our hiring practices more inclusive to LGBTQ+ candidates.
  • Gender Inclusive Bathrooms: Looking at the buildings on campus that do not have Gender Inclusive Bathrooms and how to have bathrooms designated inclusive in those buildings.
  • Campus Training Inventory: creating a list of LGBTQ+ inclusion trainings on campus and outside resources that can be used for LGBTQ+ competency training.
  • Bias Reporting System: updating our bias reporting system and finding ways to ensure that students are aware of this system.  
  • Evaluating LGBTQ+ Policies: Looking into some policies relating to LGBTQ+ students on campus to make sure we are offering the best environment and support.
Current Active Members

Rob Alexander, Department of Political Science

Jeremy Hawkins, Off Campus Life

Brandon Cheatham, Orientation

Barbara Hetzel, Title IX

Jason Jones, Office of Residence Life

Kathryn Rathgeber, Office of Disability Services

Christine Robinson, Department of Justice Studies

Kristen Shrewsbury, Learning Centers 

Katrina Simpson-McCleary, Counseling Center

Logan Zeigler, Center for Civic Engagement

Carson Lonett, Student Affairs

Matthew Hunsberger, CISE

Emma Gibbons, University Career Center

Jordan Todd, Center for Multicultural Student Services

Kirsten Mlodynia, Libraries

Betsy Gentry, University Health Center

Julie Slifer, Community Service Learning

Veronica Jones, Health Promotion

If you have ideas that you would like to share with the SOGIE Advisory Board, please email them to sogie@jmu.edu.

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