Taxpayer-funded universities advertise name-changing resources to ‘trans and nonbinary students’

Campus Reform routinely tracks the activities of taxpayer-funded gender resource groups at colleges and universities.

Here are five universities that advertise name-changing resources to ‘trans and nonbinary students.’

Campus Reform routinely tracks the activities of gender organizations on college campuses. Campus Reform found over 40 universities that tailor name changes to gender non-conforming students, faculty, and employees. Here are 5 taxpayer-funded universities that advertise name-changing services to trans and nonbinary students. 

1. The University of Oklahoma 

”Staff at the Gender + Equality Center can assist you in the process of executing a legal name change with the University,” the University of Oklahoma’s Gender and Equality Center’s (GEC) website states.

A GEC program manager told Campus Reform “Chrissy is not my legal name, but that is how I’d like to be addressed, so you can do name changes like that. It’s not something that I want legally because I don’t mind my legal name. It’s just not what I’m used to being called. “

“If I say I want to go by ‘Chrissy,’ all my documents, my logins, my email is going to say the other name, so this way I don’t have to be told over and over again that I’d like to be Chrissy,” she told Campus Reform

2. Michigan State University

Michigan State University’s (MSU) Gender and Sexuality Campus Center staff team developed a resource page “intended to provide information for LGBTQIA2S+ inclusive practices to campus partners.”

The resource page says to avoid the terms ‘preferred name’ and ‘nickname’ as opposed to a person’s ‘name.’  “Preferred name implies that a person’s name is optional” and “nickname implies that a person’s name is a casual substitute for their legal name,” the document states. 

The document also defines “gender,” “legal gender” (ask only if necessary), and “birth-assigned sex” (“it is best to avoid asking this question.”)

Students, faculty, and staff should be allowed to “self-report gender(s) for surveys,” but if a drop-down list must be used, there needs to be an “expansive list.” 

“If you choose to include ‘Two-spirit’ in your list of gender terms, please state the two-spirit identities are from native and indigenous communities and are an identity term that should only be claimed by native people,” the document states.

“If you include the identity term ‘transgender,’ you should also use the term ‘cisgender.’ Not including cisgender implies that cisgender identities are more real and valid than transgender identities,” the document states.

“An honorific or salutation is a title denoting respect and is sometimes aligned with a person’s gender,” the document states. “Do not automatically populate an honorific for a person based on their gender identity.

3. The University of Vermont 

As of 2023, the University of Vermont “requires the use of lived names for all UVM community members wherever possible.” Below is a screenshot of UVM’s ‘lived name decision tree.’

4. The University of California, Riverside 

“As a public research university, the collection of gender identity data is necessary for federal reporting and assessing gender equity,” UC-Riverside’s website states. “As such, this policy also provides guidance on the collection and reporting of gender identity, lived name and sexual orientation.”

5. The University of Rhode Island

“The University of Rhode Island believes in the importance of equity and creating an inclusive campus environment where people can be their authentic selves,” URI’s Gender and Sexuality Center’s website states

“In our cornerstones, URI states, ‘We respect the rights and dignity of each individual and group. We reject prejudice and intolerance, and we work to understand differences.’ In that vein, URI has enacted a new policy and procedure for any student to indicate a preferred first name to the campus community, regardless of legal first name status. We believe that this important step will move us closer to a campus community that truly values and recognizes students as they wish to be addressed.”