Answers About Campus Policies Impacting the Trans*Community
LGBTQ Resources within the Center for Diversity & Inclusion
In order to assist trans* members of the campus community with navigating the policies and practices of the university, we encourage you to speak with the Director of Programming, Outreach, and Advocacy or the Coordinator of LGBTQ Programming in the Center for Diversity & Inclusion (Sara Bendoraitis and Matthew Bruno). They are available to assist you with everything from changing your name on University records, to getting a new American University ID card, to finding local resources. While it is possible to accomplish nearly all of these tasks on your own, a meeting with one of the Center's staff may save you some time while providing access to resources you may not have known were available. While we have worked hard to make the campus ever more inclusive, if you have noticed something that could help to make campus more transgender-friendly, please feel free to contact one of us. This is an ongoing effort and we would appreciate your input.
Below is information concerning very specific areas on campus with contact people for each area. If you ever have any questions, please contact the Center for Diversity & Inclusion.
If you are a student and plan to live in University housing, we recognize that you may have concerns about your placement. Housing and Dining Programs and the Center for Diversity & Inclusion are committed to finding appropriate housing for all students living on campus, and will address individual needs on a case-by-case basis. No student is expected to find a transgender-friendly campus living situation by themselves. If you identify as transgender and would like to talk about specific housing concerns, please contact one of the campus point people. While you are not required to seek special accommodations, we encourage you to do so, particularly if you think you may face hostility or harassment otherwise.
If you are seeking special accommodations for student housing, such as a single room or assistance in finding a transgender-friendly roommate, you must still abide by housing application deadlines and preferably notify Assignments Coordinator for Housing (Jennifer Gough) as soon as you know that you want a special accommodation. Please note that for eligible students (seniors, juniors, and some sophomores), Nebraska Hall apartments allow you to apply with other students for a suite-style apartment that has no gender restrictions. The apartment includes a private bedroom and a shared living space and bathroom.
Additionally, American University Housing offers (as of the 2012-2013 academic year) open gender housing. This option is available to returning students in Centennial Hall, Nebraska Hall, the Berkshire Apartments, and the Social Justice Living Learning Community in Roper Hall. It is also available to new students through the Social Justice Living Learning Community. In order to be part of open gender housing, you must opt-in. To learn more information, please visit our Housing Options page.
Name and Gender Change on Campus Records (transcripts, diploma, or employment records)
In order to change your name on your transcripts, diploma, or employment records, you must legally change your name. After a legal name change, will change your name on all official documents. If you are an alumnus, you can also request an updated diploma with your current legal name. For both, you will need to fill out the "Personal Data Change Form" located on the forms section of the Registrar's Website.
If you have not legally changed your name, the Center for Diversity & Inclusion can provide a letter to your professors requesting to call you by your preferred name. You can request this letter by contacting the Director or the Coordinator of LGBTQ Outreach & Programming in the Center for Diversity & Inclusion. This doesn't change your name on official records. Official name changes have to follow the above guidelines.
To request a name change on material sent out by Alumni and Development, please make a personal request by phone (with sufficient confirmation we are speaking with the subject) online, by email, or in writing - this includes gender specific titles. Alumni and Development will also change the gender field as requested with the same level of documentation and confirmation as a name change. They respect that any alumnus or donor has the right to be addressed and referred to according to personal preference regardless of legal status. The prior name will be preserved for reference and look up purposes. To make this change you may contact Abbey Silberman Fagin (Senior Director – Development) or any of the Alumni and Development staff.The requested change can also be made online. If you are a current or former employee, you can request a name change on your files by filling out a “Personal Data Change Form” available through Human Resources or online. You will need to show legal documentation of your name change in order to request the change. You can request a change in the gender listed in your files by filling out an “Invitation to Self Identify” form. This form can be requested from your HR representative or from one of the transgender point people.
Although your name will be changed on all documents, your prior name will continue to be listed as a previous identity in the university’s database in order to ensure that a search run on your former name will access the correct files0.
To change your name on the AU Website, go to the HR/Payroll Connection portion of your my.american.edu account.
Go to "Info/Forms"----->"Employee Record Data"----->"Personal Data Change"
This form has an option to just change your name on the website.
For information on changing federal documents, please visit NCTE (the National Center for Transgender Equality) website.
Name Change on Email Account
When you first set up your e-mail account with the university, you can submit the preferred name that you are currently using,regardless of whether or not you have legally changed your name. If you have already set up your e-mail account, then the Technology Help Desk or the Help Desk Manager (CaroLyn Jimenez) can change the name that is used with the e-mail account. You can request this change by contacting the Help Desk directly at x2550 or the Help Desk Manager at 2280.
Name Change on AU ID Card
We recognize that it is important for your university identification card to reflect your current appearance and name. In order to meet this need, we offer two AU ID Card options:
If you have legally changed your name and have changed your name with the Registrar’s office or Human Resources, you can obtain a new AU ID Card with your chosen name.
- If you have not yet legally changed your name, you may still obtain an AU ID Card with your chosen name. To do so please contact Matt Bruno or a member of CDI to support this adjustment before going to Housing & Dining Programs to receive your ID.
To receive the new AU ID Card, utilizing either option, please go to the Housing and Dining Programs office (located in Anderson Hall 1st floor) and request to have your card updated with your chosen name. You do not have to identify yourself as transgender. You should be able to obtain a new card with a new photograph. Please note, you need to bring in your old card in order to have this service free of charge.
Name Change in Blackboard
The name that shows up in Blackboard is that name that you have on record with the Registrar's office or Human Resources. If you would like you chosen name to appear, follow these steps:
- login to blackboard.
- click your name on the top right part of the screen.
- click on "Settings" then "Personal Information"
- click on "Edit Personal Information" and change the appropriate box.
- Your chosen name will appear once you logout.
Student Health Insurance
The Student Health Center is committed to working with transgender students to ensure appropriate and sensitive care. If you are receiving care through the Student Health Center you can arrange to have your chosen name and pronouns listed on your files and in the Student Health Center computer system.
For information on the Student Health Insurance plan, please contact the Student Health Center. The Student Health Insurance Plan through the university includes surgical and non-surgical treatment for
transgender individuals including office visits, lab test, pharmacy and
hormone therapy, and some surgical options. For more information or questions, please contact Edythe Cook in the Student Health Center. Also visit the Student Health Center's LGBT Health Services page.
Faculty/Staff Health Insurance
For information on the university's Faculty/Staff Health Insurance Plan, please see the Faculty/Staff Benefits Manual on the myBenefits site, accessed through the myAU portal. The Faculty/Staff Health Insurance Plan through the university includes surgical and non-surgical treatment for transgender individuals including office visits, lab test, pharmacy and hormone therapy, and some surgical options. For more information or questions, please consult the Director of Employee Benefits & Communication in HR (Jerrad Carter).
The university is committed to having safe and accessible campus restroom facilities. We recommend that individuals make choices about restroom usage based on their own level of comfort and their gender identity or expression. We know that many transgender individuals feel safer and more comfortable using single stall restrooms. American University has committed to including single stall restrooms in all future construction at the university. Currently, there are single stall restrooms in most campus buildings. All of these restrooms are gender neutral. Click here for a list of the location of all single stall restrooms compiled by the Center for Diversity & Inclusion.
If you find that one of the restrooms on our list or that any single stall restroom on campus is labeled incorrectly, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.