New Transgender Policies Come to the CSCU System
By James Lancy
Live Wire Editor in Chief
The Board of Regents for Higher Education announced the passing of two new policies concerning Transgender students in the entire CSCU System Monday morning.
These two policies cover the concern of bathroom usage and preferred names on all unofficial documents, according to a press release by the CSCU office. Transgender students may now use the bathroom or locker room that coincides with their gender identity.
“Every student no matter their gender identity or expression, should be treated equally and fairly in a safe, supportive environment,” said Governor Dannel Malloy of the policy’s passing. “Connecticut will remain a state of inclusiveness because we firmly believe that diversity makes us stronger.”
Transgender students will now also be able to request changes to their unofficial records such as course rosters, identification cards, email addresses, and honors, awards and prizes issued by the institution. Students will not, however, be able to change their names on official documents such as diplomas or transcripts until they acquire a court order that legally changes their name.
“Our focus has always been on developing successful, engaged students and to do that we must continue to provide a learning environment that encourages personal growth for everyone,” said CSCU President Mark Ojakian. “Transgender students are part of the CSCU community and we want to make sure they feel valued and empowered to pursue their education. These policies are aligned with our core values and our history as an institution.”
Before the policy change, transgender students in any of the 17 state colleges and universities used gender neutral bathrooms so they could feel more comfortable. With the new policy, they can comfortably use the bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity.
“I think it’s really great!” said Shannakay Sweeney, President of the Student Government Association at MCC of the policy change. “I know a lot of people who would appreciate this and feel more comfortable coming to MCC or just any CSCU college. So, I’m happy they can be able to express themselves and feel more comfortable in their skin and their surroundings.”
The policy changes come as a public relations relief for the system amidst less than stellar reviews concerning plans to try to consolidate the upper management of the CSCU campuses.