Office of LGBTQA Affairs

Trans at Wright State

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Why Pronouns Matter

An increasing number of college students are developing their identities as transgender and gender non-conforming. The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Ally (LBGTQA) Affairs recognizes that many faculty members are eager to provide a safe and welcoming environment for their students, but may not have had the opportunity to access information about the needs and experiences of different populations of students on campus.

In an effort to foster a less-stressful environment for the student, we encourage and ask you to respect a student’s gender identities and/or gender expressions and make a conscious effort to use their chosen name and pronouns when referring to them.

For many transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, the lack of congruity between their gender identity and their sex assigned at birth can create stress and anxiety which can be magnified in the context of an unfamiliar classroom setting. Providing an inclusive environment will enhance academic success for transgender and gender non-conforming students, but ensure compliance with Wright State’s non-discrimination policy requiring us to not discriminate on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression.

What is a pronoun?

A pronoun is a word that a person uses to identify themselves. For example, if Jamie’s pronouns are she, her, and hers, you would say “Jamie ate her food because she was hungry.” The most commonly used pronouns include she, her, hers and he, him, his. These are often referred to as female/feminine and male/masculine pronouns.

However some people avoid these male/female labels, and instead, prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns or simply request that they be referred to by their first name instead of a pronoun. Some of the most common gender-neutral pronouns and the applications of such are as follows. These may seem grammatically challenging at first, but can be utilized effortlessly with commitment and practice.

  • They, them, theirs – Jamie ate their food because they were hungry.
  • Ze, hir – Jamie ate hir food because ze was hungry.
    • Ze is pronounced like “zee” can also be spelled zie or xe. It can be used to replace she/he/they.
    • Hir is pronounced like “here” and can replace her/hers/him/his/they/theirs.

Not using a student’s correct name and pronouns can make the student feel disrespected, can potentially out this student to their peers, and can create a classroom environment that could be very difficult for them to thrive in.

We understand that pronouns and their usage for a person may be new to you and that is okay! One of the best ways to create an inclusive learning environment is to utilize your resources to become knowledgeable and stay up to date about these issues. We are available to help answer any questions you may have about student-specific needs or general questions you may have. We also offer a wide array of training options which are available in an effort to help the Wright State campus become as inclusive as possible.

Chosen Name and Pronoun Resource for Students

Feel free to print out and use the chosen name and pronoun handout (PDF). This is a great resource to use for the first week of classes to give to your instructors and professors so that they use your chosen name and pronouns on the first day. There are also printed copies of this resource in the LGBTQA Community Engagement Room.

Name Change

Preferred Name Change Process

You can also list a preferred first name at Wright State University. For example, if you wanted to be called Cary Doe instead of Caroline Doe or Dana Smith instead of Dan Smith, you may have indicated that on your admissions form and it would it would be listed in the university directory and your outgoing email. Official documents will continue to read your full legal name, but internal documents and programs will have the preferred name.

Fill out the request for preferred (chosen) name change form (PDF) and turn into the RaiderConnect. This form will also allow you to have your chosen name reflected on our Wright1 card and show up in Wings Express.

Legal Name Change Process

There is a legal name change process you can take to have your name changed on legal documents. Student Legal Services is a great resource that will help support you in navigating a legal name change. Once you complete your legal name change, you can complete the request to change name (legal name change) (PDF) to have your chosen legal name reflected within the university. 

    Additional Gender Prounouns Resources

    All Gender and Universal Access Restrooms and Locker Rooms

    We strive to create and sustain a campus environment that supports and values all members of our community, including visitors. One aspect of creating an inclusive environment is providing safe, accessible, and convenient restroom facilities. Many people may experience difficulty, inconvenience, and a lack of safety when required to use gender-specific restrooms. Parents with children of a different gender struggle to accompany them into a gender-specific restroom and the same holds true for others with attendants or caregivers of a different gender. Transgender individuals may be subject to harassment or violence when using men’s or women’s restrooms.

    In keeping with the Wright State University’s policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression and following Title IX law and guidance, Wright State University allows individuals to use the restroom that corresponds to their sex, gender identity, and/or gender expression. We allow people to use the restroom facility they deem they need to use. The university is committed to designating and maintaining an all-gender restroom in as many of its buildings as reasonably feasible to address all these issues. In some instances, a designated all-gender restroom may contain multiple stalls. For those who do not wish to use an all-gender single stall or all-gender multi-stall restroom, there will be gendered restrooms located in every building.

    All-Gender Restroom Expansion Project

    The Office of Equity and Inclusion is working to convert a set of gendered restrooms in every major building on campus to become all-gender multi-stall restrooms. The first all-gender multi-stall restrooms were converted in January 2016 in the Student Union located across from Student Union 011. The conversion is cost-effective, only requiring us to change the signage outside of restrooms. All-gender and gender-specific restrooms are clearly labeled in all buildings and you don't have to use an all-gender restroom if you do not want to. All-gender restrooms create a safe place for anyone to use a restroom regardless of gender identity or gender expression.

    Visit Lambda Legal's FAQ: Answers to Some Common Questions About Equal Access to Public Restrooms for additional information.

    All Gender Restroom and Locker Room Locations

    Wright State University has three all gender restrooms, two universal access restrooms, and two universal locker rooms.

    Student Union

    The Student Union includes universal locker rooms, located in Recreation Center that serve as a changing room with lockers, shower, and restroom and an all-gender multi-stall restrooms located near the Rathskeller and across from the Office of LGBTQA Affairs (011 Student Union). 

    Allyn Hall        

    Allyn Hall includes a universal access restroom near The Hangar next to the vending area.

    Student Success Center     

    The Student Success Center all-gender restrooms are located on first and second floor (not the ground floor).

    White Hall

    White Hall includes an all-gender multi-stall restroom located on the first floor near the back of the building.

    Gender Inclusive Housing

    Gender Inclusive Housing (GIH) includes all campus apartment communities: College ParkForest LaneUniversity ParkThe VillageHonors, and The Woods. These housing communities are where friends of different genders, regardless of their sexual orientation, can live together. It is also considered a safe environment for the LGBTQA community.

    For full consideration, each student must complete the mixed gender housing application and pay or defer the $150 prepayment no later than February 9. When completing the application, submit your roommate names and UIDs. After February 9, you can still submit the application and $150 prepayment, but applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis and depend on apartment availability. Students are not assigned to mixed-gender housing communities without their prior request. If a vacancy results from a student who does not return to Wright State and/or campus housing, you must identify replacements, or risk losing the opportunity to participate in mixed gender housing.

    Gender-Inclusive Apartments

    • One resident is assigned to each of the two or four bedrooms in the apartment.
    • Residents will share the bathroom(s), a kitchen, and a living/dining room.
    • Residents must fill the apartment to capacity (two or four residents, depending on the community).

    Gender-Inclusive Residence Halls*

    • Residents must fill the room to capacity (one, two, or three residents depending on the community and room type)
    • Residents will share the bathroom
    • Residents must fill the entire suite (depending on the room type and community).

    *not available in Hamilton Hall

    For more information, please contact housing@wright.edu.