Transitioning/Transgender Student Guidelines

Change of Name in Official College Records

The College will change a student’s name on official College records with appropriate documentation from the state of residence (e.g., driver’s license, certified copy of a court order, etc.). Students may provide their documentation to the Registrar to initiate this change. For Pennsylvania residents, the Office of Vital Records can aid in the issuing of updated birth certificates.

Change of Sex/Gender in Official College Records

The College will change a student’s sex on official College records with appropriate documentation from the state of residence (e.g., driver’s license, birth certificate, etc.). Students may provide their documentation to the Registrar to initiate this change. For Pennsylvania residents, the Office of Vital Records can aid in the issuing of updated birth certificates.

Preferred Name Change

Although Penn College cannot make any name changes without legal documentation, transgendering students may create and use a preferred name for P.L.A.T.O. and email by requesting a new “alias” through Information Technology Services at any time prior to their legal name change.  Information regarding this process is available on the Information Technology Services portal (login required).

On-Campus Housing

On-campus housing is assigned based on the College’s official record of a student's sex. Students who are in the transitioning process and/or actively living as the opposite gender can apply for single housing, and the requested room type will be given provided the request is made prior to housing assignments. Accommodations are provided based on availability of suitable housing. Individuals requesting single housing on the basis of being transgender need to provide documentation for the request, including a physician or psychologist statement that indicates a recommendation for gender-appropriate housing arrangements. 

Use of Restroom Facilities

On-campus restrooms are designated by sex. Students who are in the transitioning process and/or actively living as the opposite gender can use the restroom of their choice. There are a limited number of single, unisex restrooms throughout campus that can also be used.

Locker Rooms

Shared locker rooms are designated by sex. Students must use the locker room that reflects their sex, regardless of the gender with which they identify.

Involvement in Intercollegiate Athletics

Penn College follows guidelines set for by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) for student-athlete gender status. The 2011 guidance from the NCAA on this matter indicated:

  • A transgender male (female to male) student-athlete who has received a medical exception for treatment with testosterone for gender transition may compete on a men’s team, but is no longer eligible to compete on a women’s team without changing the team status to a mixed team. A mixed team is eligible only for men’s championships.
  • A transgender female (male to female) student-athlete being treated with testosterone suppression medication for gender transition may continue to compete on a men’s team, but may not compete on a women’s team without changing it to a mixed team status until completing one calendar year of documented testosterone-suppression treatment.
  • Any transgender student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatment related to gender transition may participate in sex-separated sports activities in accordance with his or her assigned birth sex.
  • A transgender male (female to male) student-athlete who is not taking testosterone related to gender transition may participate on a men’s or women’s team.
  • A transgender female (male to female) student-athlete who is not taking hormone treatments related to gender transition may not compete on a women’s team.

Additional information is available from the NCAA.

Club sports and Intramurals

Students are free to engage in club or intramural activities based upon the gender with which they identify, regardless of sex (provided the club sport league/conference does not have rules to the contrary).

Greek Life

Individual fraternities and sororities are responsible for setting the rules for their particular organizations. Currently no organization affiliated with Penn College has a policy regarding transgender or transgendering students. Students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority should connect with the Student Activities Office directly.

Health Care

College Health Services provides holistic care to all members of the Penn College community. College Health Services follows guidance provided by the American College Health Association on supporting transgender and transgendering students.

Counseling

Counseling Services provides holistic personal, academic, and career counseling to all members of the Penn College community.  Counseling Services follows guidance provided by the American Counseling Association on supporting transgender and transgendering students.

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