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SUNY To Officially Recognize Students' Chosen Names, Pronouns

Van den Berg Hall at SUNY New Paltz.
Van den Berg Hall at SUNY New Paltz. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/crz4mets2

The State University of New York (SUNY) will begin officially recognizing students’ chosen names and pronouns.

It comes after the university’s Board of Trustees directed all 64 SUNY campuses to update their policies “to ensure that transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary students’ identities are fully reflected and represented in campus systems.”

By the time classes begin in the Fall 2023 semester, campuses will have to ensure that all operational systems reflect a student’s chosen name and pronouns as long as it’s consistent with federal law, according to a SUNY statement.

That includes things like college diplomas, class rosters, and school email addresses.

Students will also have the option of selecting ‘X’ when asked to provide their gender.

“An inclusive chosen name and pronoun policy doesn’t only help students feel safer on campus—it is also a matter of respect,” said Deborah Stanley, the Interim SUNY Chancellor.

“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.”

Governor Kathy Hochul praised the move, calling it an "historic change" and a "victory in the ongoing fight to ensure that New York is a place of love and belonging."

"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.

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