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City College adopts policy allowing trans students to use chosen names

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(Ekevara Kitpowsong/S.F. Examiner file photo)

Transgender students at City College of San Francisco will soon be able to use their chosen names for school emails, class rosters, online courses and student identification cards, instead of the names assigned to them at birth, according to both the college and the city’s Office of Transgender Initiatives.

The effort came about with help from faculty, staff, students and community advocates in order to ensure that trans and gender non-conforming persons feel safe and have full access to an education.

“In order for students to stay engaged in their education, they need to feel safe and supported by faculty and the administration, starting with being referred to by the correct name,” Ardel Haefele-Thomas, chair of the college’s LGBT Studies Department, said in a statement.

According to the college, data from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that 24 percent of college or vocational school students who were out or perceived to be trans were either verbally, sexually or physically assaulted.

The college says other students such as undocumented immigrants fearing for their safety could also benefit from the new policy.

City College spokesman Jeff Hamilton said the joint effort with the transgender initiatives office to complete the policy was a long, complicated process.

“There was a lot of administrative work that was required to make this easily available for people online,” Hamilton said.

Students wishing to have their chosen names reflected on the college’s administrative systems must complete a preferred name change form, which can be obtained at the Office of Admissions and Records at City College’s Ocean Campus at 50 Phelan Ave.

-Daniel Montes, Bay City News

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