Office of the President

Letter of Support for Our Transgender Community

Oct. 26, 2018

Dear Brandeis Community Members,

At a time when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is apparently seeking to narrow the legal definition of gender, we want to reaffirm the university’s position in support of the Trans* community at Brandeis.

The HHS’ current proposal could end federal recognition of any gender identity other than what is listed on an individual’s birth certificate. Such a proposed change could have negative and far-reaching ramifications for members of our Trans* community, on and off campus, and would deeply distress all of us who care about our Brandeis community.

Brandeis University remains unwavering in its support of our transgender and gender-nonconforming faculty, staff, students, and alumni, regardless of any proposal at the national level to narrow the definition of gender. We will continue to provide services and resources to support the Trans* community. We would also like to recognize the ongoing efforts by the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC), Intercultural Center (ICC), the Brandeis Faculty & Staff Pride Alliancefaculty departments, and various student organizations to create and sustain supportive environments for our LGBTQAI+ community members as well as provide educational opportunities for the entire campus.

Services and resources:

  • Landen Motyka now serves as the GSC Community Therapist. GSC office hours are Tuesday, 2-5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.-noon and 3-7:30 p.m. Brandeis Counseling Center hours are Tuesday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Thursday, noon-3 p.m.
  • The GSC is planning Trans* Awareness week from Nov. 12-16.
  • The Transgender Day of Remembrance event will be held on Monday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. This event memorializes Trans* people who have been killed because of their gender identity.
  • Students are organizing through the GSC for the “Yes on 3” Massachusetts ballot question campaign. Contact Ryan Mishler, GSC program coordinator, at or (x68582), or Renee Korgood, the “Yes on 3” student campus coordinator, at, for more information.

On Nov. 6, Massachusetts voters will be asked to vote on Ballot Question 3, a referendum on whether to maintain transgender protections in public places. Many of our faculty, staff, and students have been working diligently every Thursday starting at 6 p.m. in the GSC (Usdan G-105) to encourage a “yes” vote on Question 3, which would preserve civil protections and serve as a safeguard against potential federal encroachment on basic civil liberties. Brandeis University has proudly joined the Vote Yes on Question 3 Coalition.

We hope the campus community will use this moment to come together to support a safe, welcoming, and inclusive community for all people at Brandeis. In short, let this moment be a call for the “One Brandeis” that celebrates all its people.


Ron Liebowitz, President
Jamele Adams, Dean of Students
Mark Brimhall-Vargas, Chief Diversity Officer and Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Eric Chasalow, Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Kathryn Graddy, Dean, International Business School
Dorothy Hodgson, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Ira Jackson, Executive Vice President for Communications and External Relations
Zamira Korff, Senior Vice President of Institutional Advancement
Steve Locke, General Counsel
Lisa Lynch, Provost
Karen Muncaster, Vice President of the Rabb School, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs
Bill O’Reilly, Chief of Staff
Stew Uretsky, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration
David Weil, Dean, Heller School for Social Policy and Management