URGE shows support for the transgender community


Tyler Smith

Chloe Chaffin, president of URGE, draws flowers outside of the Memorial Union to show support for the transgender community. Chaffin’s final message read “let trans joy grow.”

On Thursday, April 6, the student organization Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, more widely known as URGE, met outside of Memorial Union for their biweekly meeting, where members used chalk to leave dozens of messages and drawings on the sidewalk.

The meeting took place after the Wednesday decision of the Kansas legislature regarding the proposed bill on transgender athletes.

“This year was the third year in a row that the Kansas legislature took up a bill that would ban trans women and girls from playing in sports according to their gender,” said Chloe Chaffin, junior in political science and president of URGE. “It was a very narrow vote and a really tense few days, but unfortunately, they did decide to go ahead and override the governor’s veto, which means that that bill will become law.”

In response to the bill, URGE members like Hunter Squires, sophomore in political science and URGE’s budget director, used their meeting to show support for Washburn’s transgender community.

“We’re just out here to show solidarity with the trans community,” Squires said. “We believe that trans children deserve to be loved and deserve to have somebody to show support for them.”

The URGE members left many supportive messages and drawings in front of the union, including a trans flag drawn by Jenna Gorton, senior in English and URGE’s vice president.

“We know that this is a tense time for trans youth and everybody in the trans community,” Gorton said. “So we just want to show that there are students on campus who are there to support them and who are paying attention to the political sphere.”

Despite the veto getting overridden, the members are hopeful that action can still be taken against the bill.

“We have reason to believe that this will be, hopefully, knocked down in the courts as was done in West Virginia with a very similar bill,” Chaffin said. “But right now, we just want to make sure that our community is a safe place for these folks.”

URGE’s next meeting will be held April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Myriad Room of the Living Learning Center. More information about URGE and their upcoming events can be found on their Instagram page.


Edited by Aja Carter and Simran Shrestha