June 8, 2022

SUNY says it will update gender, pronoun identifiers

Students at State University of New York campuses will be able to use their chosen name and pronouns, as well as identify their gender with an “X” under an updated policy announced Wednesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul. 

The change is meant to aid transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary students on campuses across the state. 

“Every person, regardless of their gender identity or the name they choose to go by, deserves to have identity documentation that reflects who they are,” Hochul said. “This historic change by the SUNY system is a victory in our ongoing fight to ensure that New York is a place of love and belonging. My administration remains committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQIA+ community.” 

Campuses will be required to have their operational systems reflect a student’s preferred or chosen name and pronouns for campus portals, class rosters and student email addresses, among other areas. The change will take full effect by the 2023 fall semester. 

Students will also be able to select “X” when asked to provide a gender by their college campus. Hochul previously announced New York residents can select “X” to signify their gender on their driver’s licenses. 

“An inclusive chosen name and pronoun policy doesn’t only help students feel safer on campus — it is also a matter of respect,” Interim SUNY Chancellor Deborah Stanley said. “This is the next concrete step toward ensuring SUNY’s current and future transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary students feel embraced and uplifted. To those students and families who are seeing an unprecedented effort to roll back LGBTQIA+ rights and opportunities in other states, we want you to know that New York State and SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities intend only to move forward.”

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