A transgender sophomore has started a petition against his Christian college who has met his request to live in the male dorms with resistance. A sophomore at George Fox University, Newberg, Ore., Jayce M, as the student would like to be called, has recently completed his female-to-male transition and is in the process of legally changing his gender to be categorized as a male, but the school has stated Jayce’s move into the male dormitory would go against “theological commitments.”
Jayce M. has spent the current year in female housing and has run into complications while attempting to request and solidify housing for next year’s enrollment. “I have the right, as any other male, to live on campus with males,” Jayce believes. By this Friday, he said legal documents, such as his driver’s license and social security card, will reflect his current gender.
The school is not forcing Jayce to stay in the female dorms if he plans on attending their institution. However, they have suggested that he either live in a single room or stay someplace off campus, but he is not allowed to live with his male friends in the dorms on school property.
Jayce’s attorney Paul Southwick states that he hopes the school renounces their initial decision. The attorney has filed a complaint with the Department of Education regarding the matter. Jayce has mentioned that he does not wish for the battle to develop into a full investigation, but he is prepared to fight if and when that happens. “I’m hoping that the school will listen and grant me on-campus housing,” he said. “For the future, I hope that I’ll be able to pave the way for future transgender students as well as any other people that are being marginalized.”
Jayce has said that he does not wish to transfer schools, because he does not feel he should have to. The sophomore believes his petition against the resistance to live in the male dorms is not only an issue of transgender rights, but one of equal rights, and he should not have to change schools, because he changed his gender.
Running into road blocks with administration officials, Jayce has embarked on a campaign on and off campus to overturn George Fox’s housing statutes. The sophomore’s mother has also been administering an online petition; she has commented that she is doing her best to ensure her son’s safety. Over the last week, he has gathered over 16,000 signatures petitioning in favor of his case regarding the housing debate, and he is going to continue to fight for more supporters. Fellow students and Newberg residents have joined the campaign. Last Sunday, roughly 50 supporters designed handmade signs and marched the petitions to the university to symbolically deliver the signatures.
Despite the petitioning in support of Jayce’s transgender and equal rights, the sophomore’s efforts to live in the male dorms are continually met with resistance. The school has been adamantly unwilling to approve Jayce’s request, firmly standing behind the school’s long up-help Christian beliefs. The institution has reported that they are devoted to being a Christ-centered community and that Jayce’s request in lieu of his new gender would be tricky situation for any similar establishment. The university has also issued a statement that they have tried in many ways to be accommodating, and they will remain dedicated to his academic, physical, and spiritual welfare.
By Stacy Feder