Policy for Transgender Student Identification

In an effort to build inclusive campus cultures, The New School, along with other colleges and universities in the United States, has begun to institute administrative policies that reflect a better understanding of gender identity. This includes evaluating facilities and accommodations, data collection procedures, and the campus climate.

As an initial step, the University Social Justice Committee, the Provost’s Office, and the Registrar are working to enable students who self-identify as transgendered or gender non-conforming to indicate to the university a preferred name and pronoun for use on internal school documents without legally changing their names. This process will allow transgendered and gender non-conforming students to be acknowledged as they identify themselves by faculty and staff who view their names on course rosters or other university documents. 

Any student can make an appointment with the Office of Intercultural Support (OIS@newschool.edu or 212.229.8996) prior to the first day of school each semester to fill out a Name Change form. In this way, faculty will be made aware of changes and Blackboard will be updated prior to initial classes. When faculty and staff members are informed of a name change, they will also be provided with information that will address questions they may have and point them to additional resources for understanding gender identity issue.

Since fall 2010, the Registrar’s Office has been working closely with a sub-committee of the University Social Justice Committee to improve record-keeping options for transgendered and gender non-conforming students. This kind of data integration is more complex that it may seem. The New School uses a software system called Banner to manage and connect student identification data for a range of purposes, including course registration, library records, and technology. This software is used by many universities, including the University of Vermont, which recently designed a patch that allows students to designate a preferred name and pronoun through that university’s portal (its equivalent of MyNewSchool). Sun Systems, which owns Banner, is working to make this patch available to a wider group of users that may eventually include The New School.

The current process to support preferred names and gender pronouns is just a start, as we continue to build a university that is responsive to people’s needs across identities and experiences and promotes equity and justice across our campus. Over time, we intend to make other changes that would enable a student to designate a preferred name and pronoun on a wider range of university documents and systems, such as ID cards.

If you have questions about this new policy or the name-change procedure, contact Larry Fillian at 212.229.5620, x4765 or fillianl@newschool.edu for more information or visit the Social Justice webpage www.newschool.edu/leadership/provost/social-justice to learn more about our work or to connect with a member of the Social Justice Committee to talk further.

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