State University of New York

‘Equality and Respect': SUNY to Implement Chosen Name and Pronouns Policy

SUNY students will be also be able to select 'X' when asked to provide gender by the college

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All 64 SUNY campuses will implement a chosen name and pronouns policy to ensure that transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary students' identities are reflected and respected, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday.

"Every person, regardless of their gender identity or the name they choose to go by, deserves to have identity documentation that reflects who they are," Hochul said. "This historic change by the SUNY system is a victory in our ongoing fight to ensure that New York is a place of love and belonging. My administration remains committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure equality and respect for the LGBTQIA+ community." 

The change is part of the university system's "mission to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment for students within the LGBTQIA+ community," according to Hochul's office.

With the historic change, student's chosen name and pronouns will appear in campus portals, class rosters and student email addresses. SUNY students are additionally able to select 'X' when asked to provide gender by the college, following last month's announcement that New York state will offer driver’s licenses, learner's permits and non-driver identification cards with an “X” gender identity marker.

The full implementation of all necessary IT or operational changes to align with SUNY's chosen name policies must occur by the start of the Fall 2023 semester, while the gender identity policy must be implemented by the end of 2022, according to the state. 

"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 Stanley said. "This is the next concrete step toward ensuring SUNY's current and future transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary students feel embraced and uplifted. 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."

In 2015, the SUNY committed itself to being the most inclusive state university system in the country. Just last year, SUNY also passed a resolution requiring SUNY state-operated campuses to designate all single-occupancy bathrooms as gender neutral.

SUNY is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States.

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