UMass Trans FAQ

Resources

Nondiscrimination

Restrooms and Bathrooms

Housing

Name Change

Gender Marker Change and Gender Indication

Health Care

Athletics

 

 

 

Who Can I Go to on Campus for Help?

The Stonewall Center can assist with any trans-related issue; the director, Genny Beemyn, is trans. The Dean of Students Office (DOSO) can also be of assistance. The Stonewall Center works closely with the DOSO and has conducted a special trans training for its staff.

The Stonewall Center has also established point people in departments where trans people might have particular needs. These individuals have attended special trans training:

  • Athletics: Jeff Smith
  • Bursar's Office: Patrick Mignault
  • Campus Recreation: John Blihar
  • Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH): Lydia Rackenberg
  • Commonwealth Honors College Advising: Brenda Barlow
  • Disability Services: Rachel Adams
  • Financial Aid Services: Matt Mourovic and TearNee Sodders
  • New Student Orientation: Elizabeth Cleary
  • Ombuds Office: Martha Nelson Patrick
  • Registrar's Office: Judy Thornton and Lynn Kells
  • Residential Life: Justin Dowd and Corey Edwards
  • Student Activities and Involvement: Lydia Washington
  • Student Legal Services Office: Raquel Manzanares
  • UMass Police Department (UMPD): Tom O'Donnell
  • University Health Services (UHS): Cindy Hildebrand

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Does UMass Amherst Cover Trans People in Its Nondiscrimination Policy? 

In August 2009, the University of Massachusetts, Amherst added "gender identity and expression" to its nondiscrimination policy. The town of Amherst also includes "gender identity/expression" in its human rights policy.

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What Can a Student Do If They Are Being Repeatedly Misgendered by a Faculty/Staff Member, Despite Having Informed the Person of the Appropriate Pronouns?

A student can speak with the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EO&D) at 545-3464 or eod@admin.umass.edu and request to meet with an EO&D Grievance Officer. This person will go over the student’s rights under University policy and will discuss the student’s concerns in a private and respectful manner. A student may elect to file a complaint under the University’s Grievance Policy and Procedures to address being misgendered. University policy provides for two complaint mechanisms, an “informal” process which is a mediation-based approach and a “formal” complaint procedure. University policy does not require a complaint be filed in order to address problematic behaviors. In the appropriate instances, and with the student’s consent, EO&D can meet with a faculty/staff member, department chair, and other administrators to remind them of the University’s nondiscrimination policies and encourage the faculty/staff member to respect the student’s gender identity. Students have a year after an incident has taken place to file a discrimination complaint.

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What Is the UMass Policy on Bathroom Access for Trans and Gender-Nonconforming People?

 UMass Amherst is one of the few colleges in the country to have a formal policy on the rights of trans people in campus bathrooms. The policy enables trans and gender-nonconforming people to use the gendered bathrooms in which they feel safer and more comfortable

The specific wording of the policy is: "The University of Massachusetts Amherst strives to create and sustain a campus environment that supports and values all members of our community. One aspect of creating a supportive environment is providing safe, accessible, and convenient restroom facilities. Students, staff, faculty, and campus guests should use the restroom facilities that correspond to their sex or gender identity, or utilize single-user facilities that are designated as a restroom or gender-inclusive restroom."  The formal policy is listed here: https://www.umass.edu/physicalplant/sites/default/files/Restroom%20Policy.pdf

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Where Can I Find Gender-Inclusive Restrooms?

Campus gender-inclusive restrooms Local gender-inclusive restrooms

All major renovations and new facilities built on the UMass Amherst campus after January 2010 that are required by state or federal law to have an accessible bathroom will include a single-user accessible bathroom facility that is gender inclusive.

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Does UMass Amherst Provide Gender-Inclusive Housing?

All students may request gender-inclusive housing, a defined residential community created for this purpose. Gender-inclusive rooms are also available on the Spectrum floor, the LGBTA living-learning community. If you are a returning or incoming student interested in gender-inclusive housing or the Spectrum floor, email Residential Life for more information.

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How Does Residential Life Make Housing Assignments for Trans Students?

Residential Life will house students in keeping with the gender they have established with the University, which may be different from their gender assignment or the gender marker on their non-campus records. A trans student and a roommate(s) can request to be placed in a double room or suite in any residence hall. Trans students can also request to live in a gender-inclusive room or suite, apply for a room on the Spectrum (LGBTQ+) Floor, or be part of a group that requests a campus apartment.

Trans students with a vacancy in their room during the semester will have an opportunity to identify a roommate through the established "Roommate Pull-in Process." In the event a vacancy remains in the room, Residential Life will assign any new roommate using its established processes and will be based on the gender established with the University of the student in the room.

Trans students with a vacancy in a room designated gender inclusive outside of the semester can use Online Room Selection to attempt to identify a new roommate. All appointments are based on priority. Students with a vacancy that is not designated gender inclusive can contact Residential Life Student Services at living@umass.edu to discuss options.
 

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How Can Students and Employees Legally Change Their Names?

A person who lives in Hampshire County can obtain a change of name by filing a petition with the Hampshire County Probate and Family Court. How to do so is outlined in our Western Massachusetts Transgender Resource Guide.

Once you have a court-ordered name change, you can change your name on all UMass Amherst records by bringing a copy of the court order or a driver's license with your new name to the University Registrar's office, 213 Whitmore, and filling out a name change form.

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How Can Students Have a Chosen Name on Class Rosters?

To have a chosen first name on class rosters, you can update your name in the Student Services Center in SPIRE under "Personal Information." Click on the "edit" box to add your chosen name. Your chosen first name will appear on your main Student Center page on SPIRE, class rosters, and Moodle.

Note: this process will not change your middle name on class rosters. To do so, contact Lynn Kells in the Registrar's Office, (413) 545-0555.

Grade rosters will have your legal name, but your chosen name will appear immediately afterward in parenthesis – e.g. George Jorgensen (Christine). All of your other official records will display only your legal name.

Changing your name on SPIRE will automatically add this name to your UMass online directory, but you have to follow the steps listed below to remove your legal name from the directory. To use a chosen name on Blackboard, call the E-Learning office, (413) 545-9583.

Note: Changing your name in SPIRE will not change your name in other UMass software systems, such as  Campus Pulse, the Career Services and Residential Life databases, and in places where you swipe your UCard, including residence hall security desks, residential service desks, dining commons, and the Rec Center. To make this change, you need to change the name on your UCard.

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How Can Students and Employees Have a Chosen Name Rather than Their Legal Name on Their UCard (UMass ID Card) and Other Public Campus Records?

The name on a student's UCard is considered their campus name for all purposes. Students can change the first name on their UCards by filling out the form available here and bringing the form to the Registrar's Office in Whitmore Administration Building, Room 213. Students do not need to have changed any other identification.

Employees can change their name on their UCard by emailing directory@umass.edu from their UMass email address and requesting a new campus name.

There is no charge to get a new UCard issued in your campus name. You can also update the picture on your UCard at no charge. If you are an incoming student, you can have your ID card issued in your campus name before you arrive on campus by emailing the form to Genny Beemyn.

Please be aware that if you change the name on your UCard, emails sent to you and mailings sent home by the university will use this name, so you could be outed to family members if you are not already out as trans.

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How Can Students and Employees Have Their Chosen Name Rather than Their Legal Name Be Used in "People Finder" (the UMass Online Directory)?

Students can go into SPIRE and under "UMass Directory," choose "My Directory Info." If you uncheck "publish primary name," only your chosen first name will appear in People Finder.

Employees who are not current or former students can email a request that their chosen first name be used instead of their legal first name on People Finder. The request must be made from your official OIT email address.

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How Can a Student or Employee Change the Name in Their UMass Email Address?

A student or employee can change their UMass email address by making the request to the Information Technology account management office, A109 Lederle Graduate Research Center Lowrise. A photo identification will be needed to confirm your identity.

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How Can Students Have Their Chosen Name on Their Diplomas?

Diplomas are printed using the diploma name listed in SPIRE. You can view and update your diploma name in your SPIRE Student Center Graduation information. For an explanation of this process, go to the Registrar's web page about diplomas.

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How Can I Change My Gender or Name with UMass as an Alumni?

To change your name, gender, and/or name prefix (such as Mr., Ms., or none) on alumni records, email your request to the Records and Gift Processing department.

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How Can Students Change The Gender Marker on Campus Records?

Students can change the gender designation on UMass records by filling out the form available here and bringing the form to the Registrar's Office in Whitmore Administration Building, Room 213. No other documentation is required. If you are an incoming student, you can have your gender marker changed before you arrive on campus by emailing the form to Genny Beemyn.

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How Can Students Indicate Their Gender Identity in SPIRE?

Undergrads applying to UMass are asked their gender identity (as well as sexual orientation) on the University’s admissions application. This information is automatically placed in a matriculated student’s private SPIRE page. Returning students and incoming students who did not indicate their sexual orientation and gender identity when they applied can add this information to their personal SPIRE page by going to “My Personal Information” and then to “Gender and Sexual Identity.” Students are encouraged to provide this information so that UMass Amherst can better tailor programs and services to meet the needs of individuals of different sexual orientations and gender identities, and to better track the retention of LGBTQ+ students.

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What Health Care Services Are Available on Campus to Transitioning Students?

Transitioning students can have their mental health counseling, hormone replacement therapy, and gender-affirming surgeries covered under the student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).

The Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH) has a trans-identified therapist, Ethan Suniewick. Students can schedule an appointment with him by calling the CCPH, (413) 545-2337.

University Health Services (UHS) is able to prescribe, inject or teach to inject, and monitor hormones for trans students. The doctor who can prescribe is Ilana Schmitt, one of the staff physicians. Students interested in getting on hormones can call Cindy Hildebrand, a Registered Nurse, who is the trans point person for UHS and also the RN who works closely with Dr. Schmitt. Her phone number is (413) 577-5040. Students can also speak to any of the resource nurses to schedule an appointment with Dr. Schmitt.

The specific trans male surgeries covered under student health insurance are: mastectomy, hysterectomy, salpingo-oophorectomy, vaginectomy, metoidioplasty, scrotoplasty, urethroplasty, placement of testicular prostheses, and phalloplasty. The trans female surgeries are: orchiectomy, penectomy, vaginoplasty, clitoroplasty, and labiaplasty.

There is a $200 deductible, as well as a 15% co-insurance for participating physicians and a 25% co-insurance for out-of-network physicians. This means that students would be responsible for $200 and 15% or 25% of costs, depending upon the doctor was in or out of network, respectively.

For more information and the current protocol to follow, students should contact customer service at Consolidated Health Plans, (877) 657-5027. If you encounter any difficulties, contact Lindsay Pease, Student Health Benefit Plan Manager at UHS, (413) 577-5192. The Director of the Stonewall Center, Genny Beemyn, can also provide support and assistance.

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What Health Care Services Are Available to Transitioning Staff Members?

The UniCare State Indemnity Plans cover hormones and gender-affirming surgeries for staff members who are transitioning. For more information, contact UniCare Customer Service: 800-322-9161; www.unicarestateplan.com

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Is the Rec Center Accommodating to Transgender Students?

The Rec Center has a private changing and shower room that is open to transgender and other students. The room is between the men's and women's locker rooms and has a lockable door (no key is required to gain access). Lockers are available immediately outside of the private changing room.

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Can Trans Students Participate in Campus (Non-NCAA) Sports?

Working with the Stonewall Center, the Rec Center developed the following policy, which is included in the Rec Center's Intramural Participant's Guide:

"When an activity makes gender designation, individuals may participate in the activity based on their gender identity. If an individual's gender identity does not fit within the binary framework of man/woman or the person is in the process of transitioning to a different gender, participation in a particular gender designated activity will be handled on a case by case basis."  The full intramural policy can be found here.

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