- Who Can I Go to on Campus for Help?
- Does UMass Amherst Cover Trans People in Its Nondiscrimination Policy?
- 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?
Restrooms and Bathrooms
- What Is the UMass Policy on Bathroom Access for Trans and Gender-Nonconforming People?
- Where Can I Find Gender-Inclusive Restrooms on Campus?
- Does UMass Amherst Provide Gender-Inclusive Housing?
- How Does Residential Life Make Housing Assignments for Trans Students?
- How Can Students and Employees Legally Change Their Names?
- How Can Students Have a Chosen Name on Class Rosters?
- 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?
- How Can Students and Employees Have Their Chosen Name Rather than Their Legal Name Be Used in "People Finder" (the UMass Online Directory)?
- How Can a Student or Employee Change the Name in Their UMass Email Address?
- How Can Students Change their NetIDs (the Log-In for UMass Apps Like Moodle)?
- How Can Students Have Their Chosen Name on Their Diplomas?
- How Can I Change My Gender or Name with UMass as an Alumni?
Gender Marker Change and Gender Indication
- How Can Students Change the Gender Marker on Campus Records?
- How Can Students Indicate Their Gender Identity in SPIRE?
- What Health Care Services Are Available on Campus to Transitioning Students?
- What Health Care Services Are Available to Transitioning Staff Members?
- Is the Rec Center Accommodating to Trans Students?
- Can Trans Students Participate in Campus (Non-NCAA) Sports?
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:
- Admissions: Meg Shewchuk
- Athletics: Jeff Smith
- Bursar's Office: Patrick Mignault
- Campus Recreation: Jason Incorvati
- 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 Conniff
- Ombuds Office: Martha Nelson Patrick
- Registrar's Office: Thomas Fritsch
- Residential Life: Justin Dowd
- 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: 577-5040
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.com to discuss options.
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.
Undergraduate students can change their name on all UMass Amherst records by emailing a copy of the court order or a driver's license with their new name to firstname.lastname@example.org or bringing the documentation to the Office of the University Registrar, 213 Whitmore Administration Building. Hours of operation for the Registrar’s Office are here.
Graduate students can change their name on all UMass Amherst records by emailing a copy of the court order or a driver’s license with their new name to email@example.com.
Employees can change their name for payroll, benefits, and tax purposes by bringing a Social Security card with their new name to the Human Resources Employee Resource Center, 325 Whitmore Administration Building. Hours of operation for Human Resources are here. Employees who are or were once UMass undergraduate or graduate students will also need to change their name in SPIRE. To do so, employees should follow the procedures listed above for individuals of their current/former student status.
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 Thomas Fritsch 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 Blackboard Help Center, (855) 757-7055.
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.
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 person's UCard is considered their campus name for all purposes. For students, this name will appear on SPIRE, Zoom, unofficial transcripts, and in the databases used by New Student Orientation, advisors, Residential Life, IT, and other departments.
Undergraduate students can change the first name on their UCards by filling out the form available here and emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org or bringing it to the Office of the University Registrar, 213 Whitmore Administration Building. Hours of operation for the Registrar’s Office are here. Students do not need to have changed any other identification. Once the form has been processed by the Registrar’s Office, students should go here for information about how to request a replacement UCard and schedule an appointment to pick it up.
Graduate students can change the first name on their UCards by filling out the form available here and emailing it to email@example.com. Students do not need to have changed any other identification. Once the form has been processed by the Graduate School, students should go here for information about how to request a replacement UCard and schedule an appointment to pick it up.
Employees can change the first name on their UCard by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org from their UMass email address and requesting a new campus name. SPIRE will automatically send that new name to the UCard system. Once an employee receives a confirmation from IT User Services that their campus name was added, they should go here for information about how to request a replacement UCard and schedule an appointment to pick it up.
There is no charge for trans students and employees to get a new UCard issued in their new name, but they need to turn in their old UCard when they pick up their new one to have the charge be waived. Trans students and staff can also update the picture on their UCard at no charge. Incoming students can have their ID card issued in their campus name before they arrive on campus by emailing the form to Genny Beemyn.
Students: 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.
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.
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. Please ask to speak with a full-time staff member. A photo identification will be needed to confirm your identity.
Students can change their NetIDs by contacting IT User Services via email@example.com and asking to change their NetID. Because work in Moodle and other apps can be disrupted by a NetID change, IT will implement the change between semesters. Incoming students who wish to change their NetIDs should do so as soon as possible to avoid problems with required online trainings during New Student Orientation.
The Registrar’s Office will update the first name on students' diplomas when students change their first name on their UCards. Students can also update the name on their diplomas themselves in their SPIRE Student Center Graduation information. For an explanation of this process, go to the Registrar's web page about diplomas.
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.
Students can change the gender designation (M to F, or F to M) 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.
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.
To add or change your pronouns, log in to SPIRE. Under the "Main Menu," select "My Personal Information." The last link is to the "Pronouns" page.
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.
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
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.
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.