Use of Chosen Name

Penn College recognizes that many members of our community use a name in their daily interactions that is different from their legal first name.  For example, an individual named Charles may prefer to be called Charlie, someone named Elizabeth Anne may have used the name Anne since childhood, or an individual given the name James at birth may feel that the name Susan better reflects their gender identity.  We call this their “chosen name.”  For many, a chosen name is an important part of their identity, and we respect our students’ desire to be called by the name they prefer. 

Any student is welcome to establish a chosen name, and this chosen name will be used in the majority of college systems and documents, including class rosters, email account display name, PLATO, advising profiles, any marketing materials that name the student, and the directory listing. 

The use of legal name will remain in place in select areas of the College, where access to legal name is required.  These areas include:

• Financial aid
• Bursar - Student accounts
• Registrar - Official transcripts
• College Police

Current students can update their chosen name and chosen gender by following these steps:

• Login to the Student Information System (SIS)
• Navigate to Add Personal Contact Information 
• Update “Chosen Name” in the designated field
• Update “Chosen Gender” in the designated field, if desired
• Save and logout

Chosen Name and Chosen Gender will update across College information systems within about 24 hours following submission of the change. 

All Chosen Name changes are reviewed for appropriateness; in the event a Chosen Name is deemed inappropriate or offensive, the name field will revert to Legal Name and the student will be contacted.


On-Campus Housing

On-campus housing is assigned based on the students gender provided on the Housing Contract. 

Use of Restroom Facilities

On-campus restrooms are designated by sex. Students who identify as a gender different from their sex assigned at birth can use the restroom of their choice. There are a limited number of single, all-gender restrooms throughout campus that can also be used.

List and locations of all-gender restrooms: 

  • Bush Campus Center inside CC Commons
  • Klump Academic Center (ACC) located on the 2nd floor North Wing, and 3rd floor North Wing
  • Electrical Technologies Center (ETC) located near the Tool Crib
  • Lycoming Engines Metal Trades Center (MTC) east hallway


Locker Rooms

Shared locker rooms are designated by sex. Students who identify as a gender different than their sex assigned at birth can use the locker room of their choice. 

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

Recognized fraternities and sororities at Penn College adhere to national organizational policies outlined by each individual organization. Students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority should contact the Office of Student Engagement 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 students.


Although progress has been made, the LGBTQ population continues to be discriminated against and therefore is at higher risk for emotional distress. The Counseling Services office is considered a “Safe Zone” and all counselors have been trained in providing support to these students.  Penn College’s counselors follow the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients.
The Trevor Project is a resource designed to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, educational programs, and advocacy. 1-866-488-7386