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

    Wright State Campus Community,

    Some of you may have noticed new signage outside select restrooms on campus, indicating that they are now "all gender." For the past three years, a committee of very dedicated students, faculty, staff, and administrators have been working on a university project plan to implement at least one all-gender restroom in every major building on campus. This project plan has been an opportunity for Wright State University to further our mission and vision of centering diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in the Wright State University community. By providing greater access to restroom facilities, we strive to create safer and more accessible spaces for people with children of a different gender, people with disabilities who need assistance in the restroom from someone of a different gender, and people who identify as transgender and nonbinary.

    This project plan also coincided with student need as expressed by the Wright State Student Government Association, who unanimously passed a resolution of support for this plan. The plan also received great support from Allies (the LGBTQ and Ally Faculty and Staff organization on campus) who drafted a letter in support of the plan. Support from both of these bodies have helped our institution move forward as one that is willing to invest the necessary time, finances, and collective talents of our faculty and staff to ensure that all students, regardless of the way they identify, their capabilities or their children/caretakers are valued here at Wright State University.

    As a part of this plan, the current campus footprint, as well as the needs of the Wright State community, were carefully considered by the committee when deciding which restrooms in which buildings to convert. For example, in University Hall, the restrooms located on the second floor were converted. This decision was the result of multiple voices around the table that discussed the accessibility needs of the students who utilize the Office of Disability Services on the first floor and the need of the students who utilize the multi-faith prayer room, which is located in the basement. Additionally, the second floor is where the Office of Equity and Inclusion as well as myself (the Chief Diversity Officer) are located. This same level of discussion and consideration was given to each and every restroom that was chosen in each building. Lastly, as part of the plan, the committee has proposed an Inclusive Restroom Policy that will govern new builds and major renovations here at Wright State University moving forward.

    Please note that not all restrooms across campus will be designated as “all gender” and the university will not be forcing you to use a restroom that you may not feel comfortable with. Traditionally gendered male and female restrooms will still be located in every single building across campus and every all fender restroom will clearly be marked with pictures to let you know what type of facilities are located inside (i.e., urinals or stalls) and whether or not the restroom contains multiple stalls.

    For your convenience, a list of the restrooms that are scheduled to be converted are listed below. The entire conversion is scheduled to be completed on or before December 19, 2018. On or before January 14, 2019, the committee anticipates having a usable map that Wright State community members may utilize to access the restroom of their choice.

    BUILDING

    LOCATION

    Student Union

    Basement level near the Office of LGBTQA Affairs

    First floor behind Raider Connect

    Joshi Research Center

    Second floor near 272 and 273

    Fourth floor near 462 and 463

    Student Success Center

    First floor near 104

    Second floor near 210

    Tom Hanks Center

    First floor near the entrance

    Creative Arts Center

    First floor near 120

    Nutter Center

    First floor near 128 and 130 (aka the Green Rooms)

    Second floor near 234B

    Foundation Building (South Campus)

    First floor near 114

    2455 Presidential Drive/Human Resources Building (South Campus)

    Second floor near elevators

    Millett Hall

    First floor near the identity centers

    Biological Sciences

    Basement level

    Fawcett Hall

    First floor near elevators

    Dunbar Library

    Third floor near elevators

    Oelman Hall

    Second floor

    Medical Sciences Building

    First floor

    University Hall

    Second floor (in Marketing & Communications Office Suite)

    Brehm Lab

    First floor

    Diggs Lab

    Second floor

    Mathematical and Microbiological Sciences

    Second Floor

    Health Sciences

    Second floor

    Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building

    First floor

    Allyn Hall

    First floor near the Hangar

    Rike Hall

    First floor

    White Hall

    First floor near the student lounge

    We look forward to continuing to improve the diversity, inclusion, and accessibility here at Wright State University by creating a living, learning, and working environment that values everyone. If you have questions or concerns regarding the project plan or would like more training or resources around the topics discussed here, please feel free to contact me or the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

     

    Respectfully,
    Matthew L. Boaz
    pronouns: he/him/his
    Chief Diversity Officer
    cdo-wsu@wright.edu

     

    The all-gender restroom expansion project has also coincided with student need as expressed by the Student Government Association, who unanimously passed a resolution of support for this plan. The resolution can be found here: PDF iconBathroom Resolution 18-8 (003).pdf

    The plan also received great support from Allies (the LGBTQ and ally faculty and staff organization on campus) who drafted a letter of support of this plan which can be read here: PDF iconAllies letter in support of all gender bathrooms 2 2018[1].pdf

     

    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.