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ASI senate introduces preferred name option for transgender students

Mindy Lockhart, contributing writer

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The Associated Students, Inc. senate introduced a resolution to allow transgender students to use a preferred first name in California State University, Long Beach records.

According to the resolution, the Office of Equity and Diversity is developing a model that ensures transgender students preferred name appear on class rosters, Beach Board and student ID cards to eliminate the fear of being “outed.”

“We wanted to make a resolution supporting [the Office of Equity and Diversity] because it wasn’t like we came up with it,” ASI Sen. Joanna Salgado said.

There are numerous universities that have implemented preferred name policies for transgender students including San Diego State University, San Jose State University and California Polytechnic University San Luis Obispo.

The resolution would implement a policy similar to SDSU’s, which ensures that transgender students can use their preferred name on their online portal, class roster and student ID cards.

“The focus and the purpose for this [resolution] is for transgender students, but I think there are other students this may be useful for and we definitely need to discuss that,” ASI Sen. James Allen said.

A sociology senior, Kevin Clinton, introduced the idea of the resolution to the Committee on LGBTQ Campus Climate in fall 2014.

“I [introduced the idea] because my friends are affected by this issue,” Clinton said. “I originally wrote a six page report in summer 2014 to both educate myself on this issue and educate others on the issue.”

Clinton said that in classes his transgender friends attended, some professors would purposely use the transgender student’s legal name instead of their preferred name even after they talked to the professor. Clinton said that this would make his transgender friends uncomfortable.

After hearing about the issue and reading Clinton’s report, the Director of Equity and Diversity Larisa Hamada began developing a solution to the problem.

“[Hamada] has been working really hard on this so we want to support her and commend her,” Salgado said. “We are totally for this.”

Another resolution introduced to the ASI senate would support additional fields for gender identity and sexual orientation to the CSU Student intent to enroll form.

According to the resolution, tracking of the LGBTIQ+ community at CSULB will “provide insight into graduation rates, academic success and the services they utilize.”

CSULB’s Enrollment Services and the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment do not include sexual orientation and gender identity as a demographic variable, the resolution states.

California State University, Northridge, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona all have adapted a tracking system for LGBTIQ+ students.

“We are just trying to start from the grassroots and just make sure that this is something that at least starts now,” Allen said.

A field will be added to the student intent to enroll form that will ask for a student’s sexual orientation, but disclosing this information will not be required.

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