Guide for faculty advisors

Gettysburg College G logo with LGBTQIA+ colorsWhat you need to know:

  • Students may not be “out” in different parts of their lives (on campus, at home, etc.).
  • Students may use different names and pronouns on campus than they do at home.
  • Consult your class and advising rosters to see if students have identified names and pronouns they use.
  • Common gender neutral pronouns include They/Theirs (singular); Xe/Xers.
  • Changing one’s legal name is not a simple process; there are personal, economic, and legal implications that might prevent formal name changes.

Resources for you and your students

Office of Multicultural Engagement

Shantanique Johnson, Associate Director of OME and LGBTQIA+ Life:

Additional on-campus resources:

Gretchen Natter, Executive Director of the Center for Public Service/Assistant Dean of College Life:

Valentina Cucuzza, Violence Prevention Coordinator & Director of the Women’s Center:

Student groups:

  • Outerspace: student led group for all LGBTQIA+ students
  • nGender: Bi-weekly discussion group for students to dialogue around gender issues. Alternate Tuesdays from 11:45 a.m. -1:00 p.m. in the Women’s &: LGBTQIA+ Resource Center.
  • QHouse: Established college house that is committed to raising awareness about queer issues and queer culture, as well as providing a safe space on campus for students of all sexualities and gender identities. Housing option for upper class students.

What you can do to support them:

  • Introduce yourself using your own pronouns and preferred name and ask students for theirs.
  • Students can update their preferred names in the Student Center.
  • Avoid making assumptions about anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Do not “out” any student to other students, colleagues, etc.
  • Ask how safe they feel in their classes and in the campus community.
  • When students ask for bathroom locations, offer all options—don’t make an assumption about whether they might use a single gendered bathroom.
  • Representation matters: Hang signs/quotes/symbols in your office to show your support of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Reminders and notes:

  • If you make a mistake with a student’s name or pronoun, apologize and correct yourself quickly. It’s ok to make mistakes, but it’s important to show that you care.
  • While these themes may pertain to many LGBTQIA+ students, it’s important to remember that each student’s background and experience is unique.
  • LGBTQIA+ students may have additional intersectional identities (ethnic background, neurodiversity, first or continuing generation, etc.).


Jennifer Cole
Associate Dean of Academic Advising
(717) 337 - 6579