Transgender @ UConn: Quick Answers

Display Name

Information Technology Services (ITS) now allows any university community member to change their display name online. The display name will change how name is displayed in the UConn Phonebook, Outlook (email system for faculty and staff), and UConn AnyWare. Instructions and the link to change a display name can be found on the ITS Help Center page.

Email 

Information Technology Services (ITS) allows any university community member to change their email address and directory display name through the Personal Name service. For the change to be visible, update both the display name and the published name to a chosen name. Steps to make this change can be found on the ITS Help Center page.

Students, to update the name that appears when you send an email (not the email address itself), you will need to call ITS directly.

Health Insurance

UConn’s student health insurance plan (SHIP) currently covers counseling by a qualified mental health professional, hormone therapy, and gender affirmation surgery. Students can learn more about their health insurance coverage here: shs.uconn.edu/insurance-information.

Faculty, staff, and employees can view information about their health insurance plan coverage here: hr.uconn.edu/health-insurance.

Housing

On-Campus

The University of Connecticut seeks to provide a living environment welcoming to all gender identities; one not limited to the traditional gender binary. Gender Inclusive Housing allows for students of any gender to live together, regardless of biological sex. Students living in Gender Inclusive Housing are assigned to the 1st and 2nd floors of Brock Hall in Alumni Quadrangle with primarily two people per room. Space is limited. Special accommodations may be made. Residential Life will help to find your best placement possible. Please contact livingoncampus@uconn.edu with questions or to arrange a time to speak with a staff member.

Students can update their name with Residential Life at any time, with or without a legal name change, by emailing livingoncampus@uconn.edu and requesting that their chosen name be changed. Students should include their Student ID or their Net ID in these emails.

Off-Campus

Housing discrimination is illegal in Connecticut. Specifically, it is against the law to deny anyone housing because of their race, color, national origin, sex (gender), religion, children, family status, disability (mental or physical), ancestry, marital status, age (except minors), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or legal source of income (e.g. refusing to accept Section 8). For more information about equal access to housing opportunities in Connecticut, call the Connecticut Fair Housing Center at 860-247-4400 or visit their website: ctfairhousing.org.

Husky One Card 

University community members may trade in an old Husky One Card at no cost if there has been a legal name change or if there has been a significant change in appearance from when the original picture on the card was taken.

All UConn ID cards (Husky One Cards) are now being issued with a preferred name on the back of the card. You can view and update this name on the ITS Set Preferred Name toolhttps://netid.uconn.edu/index.php  (the One Card Office cannot make this change for you). The preferred name will not be updated in the One Card system until the following day. The preferred name is considered an enhancement to the UConn ID and does not change it from a functional perspective. Therefore, the standard $20 fee will be applied if you want a new ID for the purpose of the preferred name on the back. Additional information can be found here: onecard.uconn.edu.

Legal Name Changes

To pursue a legal name change, individuals must follow the process established by Connecticut Probate Courts. Detailed information about the steps required to complete a legal name change can be found here: jud.state.ct.us/lawlib/law/namechange.htm.

Transgender people living in New England (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont) seeking to update their legal name and gender on federal and state documents can receive free legal representation through The Pop-Up Transgender ID Project through GLAD. To sign up, visit glad.org/ID , call GLAD Answers at 800-455-GLAD, or send an email to gladanswers@glad.org. For information about changing names in other states, the National Center for Transgender Equality is an excellent resource for information: transequality.org/documents.

Names, Gender Markers, and Pronouns

For  information about pronouns and how to ask people about their pronouns, the Gender and Pronoun Guide may come in handy. Contact the Rainbow Center for printed versions of this guide.

Please note that it is considered insensitive and may be a violation of the University’s Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Interpersonal Violence, to deliberately refer to someone by the wrong pronoun or name after they have communicated a correct name and/or pronoun. For transgender people, the manner in which others are informed of their gender identity is very important. Using the proper pronouns and name can both affirm a trans individual’s identity and support their safety.

This section will help to clarify which records on campus require a legal name or gender marker change, and which can be modified without pursuing a change in legal documentation. These offices can work to update the record/document listed below to display either chosen or legal information, as indicated here:

Restroom Facility Access

Restroom facility access is a common concern. Wherever possible, the University strives to provide trans individuals with an appropriate level of bathroom facility access. While not every building has a gender-neutral bathroom, there are also several single-stall bathrooms on campus.

After a year-long process to collect the data through on-site visual confirmations in most on-campus buildings, the Rainbow Center is proud to have created the UConn Gender-Inclusive Restroom Map.  This map shows the specific locations within buildings of restrooms with gender-inclusive demarcations and single-stall restrooms with no gender-inclusive demarcations.

If an office or department has a single-stall gendered (men’s or women’s) restroom that they would like converted into a gender-inclusive restroom, they are invited to complete this form.

Rights to Privacy

All University community members have the right to work and learn without unnecessary or unlawful disclosure of medical information.

In order to ensure the privacy of a trans individual, discretion should be used in discussion and interaction with parents, students, faculty, and others related to the individual regarding a gender transition. It should be the decision of the individual undergoing transition to decide when, to what extent, and to whom their transition is discussed, if at all.

University community members are also protected by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), which provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. Students are also protected by FERPA (The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), a Federal law that protects the privacy of students’ education records.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Per FAFSA rules, students must apply for federal financial aid using their legal name. The name shown on the student’s Social Security Card must be the one listed on the FAFSA application, otherwise the application will not be processed. If a student has legally changed their name, they should contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) prior to filing a FAFSA in order to confirm that the SSA’s records reflect the change.

Furthermore, FAFSA requires that male applicants register with the Selective Service System (SSS). Therefore, in order to be eligible for federal financial aid, students assigned male at birth are required to register with the SSS. This includes students who do not identify as men. Students assigned female at birth, no matter their gender identity, are not required to register. More information on gender and SSS registration can be found at www.sss.gov/Influencers/Students-and-Financial-Aid-Officers. This SSS registration policy was created by the federal government.

As for university funding, students may apply for and be awarded scholarships using their preferred name and gender identity, whether it has been legally changed or not.

Studying Abroad

Trans students who plan to study abroad are welcome to share their identity with the UConn Education Abroad office or their trip coordinators. Additionally, it is recommended that all travelers research the areas they will visit, their laws, customs, and cultures. To assist in research specifically about LGBTQIA+ information, the UConn Education Abroad office recommends the following:

University Records Following Legal Name Change

Different offices will have different requirements for documentation proof of name change (Social Security card, marriage/divorce certificate, driver’s license, etc.). Consult each office to determine the documentation required to update a legal name.

Employees that have chosen to legally change their name and gender identification marker should contact the Human Resources Benefits Office and provide a copy of their driver’s license or other documentation indicating their name and/or gender change. Forms can be found on the Human Resources website at http://www.hr.uconn.edu/docs/perschg.pdf.

All students should provide legal name change documentation to the Office of the Registrar. Please note that even with a legal name change, future employers, schools, etc. may locate the student in the University system under both names or the initials of the student’s admitted name.

Voice and Communication

The University of Connecticut’s Speech and Hearing Clinic offers a Transgender Voice and Communication group. It is a discussion and practice group facilitated by speech-language pathology graduate students and practitioners. This groups is an opportunity to use new vocal and communication qualities in a safe and confidential environment. To learn more, contact the UConn Speech and Hearing Clinic.