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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

QSC Makes Transgender Policy Drive

The Queer Student Center, a student organization advocating for LGBTQIA+ issues on campus is pushing for new transgender policy. Their proposal points to areas of improvement in current university policy and details inclusion advances. The Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution of support at their meeting on Nov. 18 for the QSC proposal.

The QSC drafted the “Gender Identity Policy Proposal” after consulting their constituents and drawing on research. Eventually the policy will be sent to the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, so they can hopefully publicize, further revise, and enact it, says Anthony Flynn, the QSC coordinator. The group also hopes the UMass Board of Trustees will institutionalize some of the changes.

The proposal calls for UMass Boston to make its transgender policies congruent with UMass Amherst’s, and to display them visibly in a centralized resource on the university website, along with a map indicating where gender neutral and inclusive bathrooms are. 

“Going to one select bathroom can get frustrating because I have to traverse the school campus just to find a single stalled bathroom where I know I wouldn’t get ridiculed,” says music major Ray Vegger, who goes by the pronouns, “he, him, and his.” 

The QSC proposal acknowledges the Office of Housing’s roommate matching program, which allows students to select “male,” “female,” or “trans” for their gender. Students can also select the option to be matched with a trans roommate.

Individuals may change their name when they transition genders, and non-binary gender-variant individuals sometimes do the same. Social acceptance can be an emotional challenge. The process of legal name changing can result in “lag time”––people want their new name socially recognized, but their university identification or WISER login still reflects their old one.   

“Nothing causes me more issues than having to see that name over and over again on a daily basis,” says freshman Matthew DeSalvatores, who goes by the pronouns “he, him, and his.”

If a student changes their name legally, they can go to One Stop to get their WISER login fixed, and to the IT Help Desk to arrange their school email address corrected. The process is more complicated if a student has not legally changed their name. A “preferred name” can be designated on WISER, but their email address, Blackboard login, and demographic information remain unchanged. The QSC proposal advocates for a new system that allows students to choose how their names shows up in these places, including as shown on ID cards.

 The proposal also vocalizes gender-segregated athletics as a possible point of contention with transgender students. University Athletics told the QSC that UMass Boston follows NCAA rules, something mirrored by UMass Amherst. 

The NCAA allows female-to-male students to participate on either men’s or women’s teams, unless they have received testosterone therapy, and therefore can only compete on a men’s team. Male-to-female students may only compete on a women’s team after undergoing at least a year of testosterone suppression. The QSC reported that when made aware of their proposal, University Athletics put their compliance-related sources on their website. Intramural Athletics was said to express a high degree of transgender inclusivity.

The QSC also wants “gender identity or expression” to be added to the UMass Board of Trustee’s “Policy Against Intolerance” and “Resolution in Support of Pluralism,” as well as the Chancellor’s “Statement on Diversity and Affirmative Action.” The new proposal notes the Board of Trustees added “gender and identity expression” to its “Statement of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity” in 2011. The QSC makes it clear that they do not think existing policy reflects prejudice, but they do think updates are needed to reflect the “current sociopolitical moment.”

Work on the “Gender Identity Policy Proposal” began this past summer, says assistant coordinator at the QSC, Mykiel Williams, who goes by the pronouns “they, their, and them.”
 

The QSC drafted the “Gender Identity Policy Proposal” after consulting their constituents and drawing on research. Eventually the policy will be sent to the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, so they can hopefully publicize, further revise, and enact it, says Anthony Flynn, the QSC coordinator. The groups also hopes the UMass Board of Trustees might institutionalize some of the changes. 

The proposal calls for UMass Boston to make its transgender policies congruent with UMass Amherst’s, and to display them visibly in a centralized resource on the university website, along with a map indicating where gender neutral and inclusive bathrooms are.

“Going to one select bathroom can get frustrating because I have to traverse the school campus just to find a single stalled bathroom where I know I wouldn’t get ridiculed,” says music major Ray Vegger, who goes by the pronouns, “he, him, and his.”

The proposal acknowledges the Office of Housing’s roommate matching program, which allows students to select “male,” “female,” or “trans” for their gender, and provides the option to be matched with a trans roommate. 

Individuals may change their name when they transition genders, and non-binary gender-variant individuals sometimes do the same. Social acceptance can be a challenge. The process of legal name changing can result in lag time, where the individual wants their new name socially recognized, but their university identification or WISER login still reflects their old one.  

“Nothing causes me more issues than having to see that name over and over again on a daily basis,” says freshman Matthew DeSalvatores, who goes by the pronouns “he, him, and his.”

If a student gets a legal name change, they can go to One Stop to get their WISER login fixed, and to the IT Help Desk to arrange their school email address corrected. The process is more complicated if a student has not legally changed their name. A “preferred name” can be designated on WISER, but their email address, Blackboard login, and demographic information remain unchanged. The QSC proposal advocates for a new system that allows students to choose how their names shows up in these places, including as shown on ID cards.

The proposal also vocalizes gender-segregated athletics as a possible point of contention with transgender students. University Athletics told the QSC that UMass Boston follows NCAA rules, something mirrored by UMass Amherst.

The NCAA allows female-to-male students to participate on either men’s or women’s teams, unless they have received testosterone therapy, and therefore can only compete on a men’s team. Male-to-female students may only compete on a women’s team after undergoing at least a year of testosterone suppression. The QSC reported that when made aware of their proposal, University Athletics put their compliance-related sources on their website. Intramural Athletics was said to express a high degree of transgender inclusivity.

The QSC advocates for “gender identity or expression” to be added to the UMass Board of Trustee’s “Policy Against Intolerance” and “Resolution in Support of Pluralism,” and the Chancellor’s “Statement on Diversity and Affirmative Action,” where in all instances the QSC notes its absence. The policy proposal notes the Board of Trustees added “gender and identity expression” to its “Statement of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity” in 2011. The QSC makes it clear that they do not think existing policy reflects prejudice, but they do think it needs to be “updated to the current sociopolitical moment.”

Work on the “Gender Identity Policy Proposal” began this past summer, says assistant coordinator at the QSC, Mykiel Williams, who goes by the pronouns “they, their, and them.”