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Transgender Student Policy Related to Gender Identity/Expression
In order to provide support to
transgender and gender variant students who, for whatever reason, need special
accommodations due to gender identity/expression, we encourage students to
speak with the Office of Student Affairs which can help students with navigating
the policies and practices of the college.
RISD is committed to having safe and accessible campus restrooms. We recommend
that individuals make choices about restroom usage based on their own level of
comfort and their gender identity or expression. We know that many transgender
individuals feel safer and more comfortable using single-stall restrooms and
there are single-stall restrooms in most buildings. Contact the Department of
Residence for a list of single-stall restrooms on campus.
If you find that one of the bathrooms on our list or that any single-stall
restroom on campus is labeled incorrectly, please contact the Student Affairs
Having a "sex" category on forms that is limited to "Male"
and "Female" makes transgender students feel disregarded, and with no
means to identify themselves, they remain invisible to administrators and their
needs continue to be overlooked. With these concerns in mind, the college has
removed the “sex” category and where appropriate replaced it with a “gender”
Records and Documents
A certified copy of a court order or documentation from a health
professional that a gender change is underway is required if a change in gender
and name is to be recorded on a student’s official record. For those students
that have not officially made the change yet, but are in the process, please
contact Student Affairs to fill out a supplemental form (in addition to the Change of Name form found on the
Registrar’s page at www.risd.edu/registrar) that highlights the implications of changing
one’s name in the system and what financial risks that may entail. Only in
these approved cases will the Registrar’s Office change one’s first name to
their first initial. Legal birth names will be stored in the student information
system for archival purposes.
The college recognizes that as a
community many of its members use names other than their legal names to
identify themselves. As long as the use of this different name is not for the
purposes of misrepresentation, the College acknowledges that a "preferred
name" can and should be used wherever possible in the course of College
business and education.
A legal name change needs to
happen through the state of the person’s legal residence (in RI, it’s done at
the town level). In any state a person can change their name to anything, as
long as they are not trying to escape past debts or picking the name of a
famous person. A note from a doctor/surgeon/psychologist is NOT required. Once
the name is changed with the home town/city, the person can go to the local Social
Security office to get a new Social Security card, and then use that to change
everything else, including a driver’s license or state-issued ID.
When you first set up your e-mail account with the college, you can
submit the preferred names that you are currently using regardless of whether
or not you have legally changed you name. If you have already set up your
e-mail account, then the Office of Information Technology Help Desk can change
the name that is used with the e-mail account. You can request this change by
contacting the helpdesk directly at 401 454-6767.
RISD ID Card
We recognize that it is important
for your college identification card to reflect your current appearance and
name. In order to meet this need, we offer the following options:
If you have legally changed your name and have
changed your name with the Registrar’s office, you can obtain a new ID card
with your new name for $5.00 from Card Services.
If you have not yet changed your name, you can
obtain an ID card that only lists your first initial and your last name,
contact Card Services.
If you have set a preferred name in Web Advisor,
you may be able to use your preferred name on your ID card, Contact Card
Name Change on Campus Records (transcripts, diploma, etc.)
In order to change your name on your transcripts, diploma or academic
records, you must legally change your name. After a legal name change, the
college can change the name on all official documents. Visit the Registrar’s
page for the Name Change Policy & Change of Name Form.
RISD does not discriminate on the basis
of gender or sexual
orientation. RISD is committed to creating an inclusive environment for
all students, if you have noticed something that could help to make the campus
more transgender-friendly, please feel free to contact one of the offices
401 454- 6650
Carr House, 210 Benefit Street, 3rd Floor
Crime Prevention Office
Carr House, 210 Benefit Street, 2nd Floor
Carr House, 210 Benefit Street, 2nd Floor
Transgender/Gender Non-Conforming- Anyone whose
gender identity and/or gender expression does not match society's expectations
of how an individual who was assigned a particular sex at birth should behave
in relation to their gender.
Gender Identity - An individual's sense of being either male or female, man or
woman, or something other in-between.
Gender Expression - The external characteristics and behaviors that are
socially defined as masculine or feminine, such as dress, mannerisms, speech
patterns, and social interactions.
Biological or Legal Sex - The sex legally assigned to an individual at birth,
usually reflected in a birth certificate.
Title - This includes a prefix such as "Mr.", "Mrs.,"
"Miss" and "Ms." Legal Name - The name legally given to an
individual, which may be memorialized on a birth certificate, a court order, or
certificate of naturalization.
Preferred First Name and Pronoun - The name and pronoun used by a transgender
student that corresponds to the student's gender identity/expression.