ALBANY, N.Y (WROC) — All State University of New York (SUNY) schools are now required to abide by a students chosen name and pronouns, the SUNY Board of Trustees decided Tuesday.
The move is meant to better reflect and embrace the identities of trans and gender-nonconforming students attending these institutions.
Campuses are now required to have all operational systems reflect a students chosen name and pronouns in any instance a student requests, so long as it is consistent with federal law. This will affect names displayed in campus portals, class rosters, email addresses, and more.
Students also have the option of choosing “X” in addition to “M” and “F” to mark their gender when asked by their college.
“An inclusive chosen name and pronoun policy doesn’t only help students feel safer on campus — it is also a matter of respect,” SUNY Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley stated in a press release. “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.”
The necessary IT and operational changes to implement the “X” gender policies must be completed by the end of this calendar year, and compliance with chosen name policies must be reached by the start of the fall 2023 semester.
The move comes as part of SUNY’s goal set in 2015 to be the most inclusive state university system in the country.
The SUNY network is the largest comprehensive higher education system in the United States, serving about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses, continuing education, and community outreach programs.
One in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum, and over 95 percent of state residents live within 30 miles of a SUNY school.