University offering students name, pronoun change

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The UR Pride Centre is an important resource for LGBT students. Photo - Taylor MacPherson

The UR Pride Centre is an important resource for LGBT students. Photo – Taylor MacPherson

An important step in LGBT rights

The University of Regina is offering the option for students to change their pronouns and names in the university files upon request. This is an important step towards equality for all transgender individuals at the University of Regina, and the acknowledgement of personal gender identity provides needed respect and security for students who require it.

It seems to be the first time the university has given students this important option, but some are disappointed that there doesn’t appear to be an abundance of advertising of that fact around campus.

Each student should be allotted privacy and confidentiality, and the student body at the University of Regina seems supportive and enthusiastic about this advertisement of the ability to change one’s gender and name with a simple confidential request. It is a sensitive and deeply personal matter that should be treated with the utmost respect from the University and campus as a whole.

The University of Regina has made moves away from heteronormative surroundings by including gender-neutral bathrooms around the university as an option for students. The email, sent from student affairs, is definitely a starting point for a more inclusive community.

The Carillon spoke to students around campus about their thoughts, and found that many students believe the U of R does a good job of providing resources for transgender students.

One student says, “It’s cool that they’re trying, at least a little bit. As much as they can, as a school that has more than just trans people. I think they’re doing a good job with resources, still. They advertise for mental health services that include trans-friendly doctors that can refer you to professionals in the field.”

Another student says, “I think there are definitely good resources on campus, logistics-wise. I think gender is an important thing to be self-defined and the fact that there are problems with being able to do that shows inherent flaws in societal expectations of gender. If someone doesn’t present as their ‘correct’ gender, other people can’t handle it. Gender is a social category, and needs to be realized as such.”

Students say that they recall receiving the email, but that there hasn’t been an exorbitant amount of announcement around the buildings. That said, there is no shortage of support for LGBT students on campus, including UR Pride, which operates a safe space for students on the second floor of the Riddell Centre.

This latest email, sent out by student affairs, emphasizes that “this option has been developed to respond to the needs of some international students, transgender people, and others who may feel their safety and security is jeopardized in the use of their legal first name,” which students appreciate as a sign of solidarity and respect.

The University of Regina is making strides to make the community safer and more welcoming for transgender students, and even if there still needs to be more work done, the respect shown for the LGBT students by University of Regina administration is nice to see.

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