Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan is taking steps to make a difference in their student’s lives. For the last 8 years, students and faculty have been trying to implement a “preferred name” policy for transgender students and anyone who prefers to be called a different name.
Starting this semester, students can change their legal name to their preferred name on OU’s online databases. Starting next semester, January 2017, students will also be able to change their names on “Moodle,” an online web portal where students and teachers can submit class updates and assignments.
The first week this policy was implemented, 84 students had already changed their name. The next phase in this process is to work with University Housing so students can change their names privately.
The Gender and Sexuality Center at Oakland University has played a huge role in making these changes possible. They are hoping these changes will make future students feel comfortable applying and attending OU. The University is also expanding their “Oakland Center” which is one of their main buildings on campus, to include a gender-neutral bathroom.