University Announces New Gender Expression Policy

Chazz Mair, Contributing Writer

The University of New Haven formally announced their new gender expression policy at the start of the Spring 2018 semester. While it has been in effect since fall of 2017, the formal announcement was postponed due to the movement from InsideUNH to the new website, myCharger. Students are now allowed to enter their preferred names into university databanks, so it will appear in place of their given name on their ID cards and a majority of university documents, such as attendance rosters.

“Despite what’s happening nationally, the university tries to be as inclusive as possible,” said Rick Baker, Senior Associate Dean of Students. “Students can use any facility that aligns with their gender identity.”

Previously, students would have to email their professors ahead of time, which could lead to uncertainty and anxiety  for their first class.

“We worked with IT to make sure students aren’t outed on their first day,” Baker said. The offices and situations that are unable to feature a student’s preferred name are related to legal documents in one way or another, financial aid, documentation regarding campus police and diplomas all require a legal name. (For the full list of offices where a legal name is required click here.)

“It’s good that it finally out there,” MOGAIlize’s (Marginalized and Oppressed Gender Alignments and Intersex) spokesperson Josh Carbajal said. “A lot of people fear for their safety while using the restroom.”

Additionally, the guide lists a variety of terms to aide the community in situations that may be foreign to them, and assist in evading unnecessarily alienation from those who are non-conforming.

The University is home to two prominent LGBTQ+ clubs, UNH PRIDE and MOGAIlize. These clubs both aim to welcome and provide a safe space for those who identify along the spectrum as well as inform the general community.

Freshman Kai Deabay summed this up perfectly, “It’s really important that your first impression is a correct impression.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version included a segment from the online university guide, but indicated that Carbajal had said it. It also incorrectly listed MOGAIlize’s name.