The University of Virginia is committed to creating a welcoming environment for our trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming students. This set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) is designed to provide information from various University stakeholders to answer common questions in one convenient online location. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact any of the referenced University offices directly. We are here to support you.
NAME AND GENDER UPDATES/CHANGES
Students have two names in SIS: their preferred name and their primary (or legal) name. The preferred name can be changed anytime and will appear on class rosters, UVA email, and the SIS student center. The primary (legal) name appears on the official transcript and diploma and can be changed only with appropriate supporting documentation.
To change your preferred name, start here: ITS - Update Personal Information Webpage. Changing your preferred name will have no impact on your computing ID. See below for information regarding your computing ID.
To change your primary (legal) name, contact the Office of the University Registrar (Registrar) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (434) 924-4122. The Registrar will provide a form for you to complete and explain what supporting documentation you need to provide with the completed form (e.g., court order, marriage certificate, government-issued ID).
After you update your primary name in SIS, that name will appear on your official transcript and diploma. You can view your unofficial transcript in SIS to make sure your new primary name is showing properly.
As noted above, the name that appears on a student’s transcript and that is printed on a student’s diploma is the primary (legal) name from SIS. Students who have not yet updated their primary name in SIS and wish to use their preferred name on their transcript and diploma should contact the University Registrar’s Office at email@example.com or (434) 924-4122 and they will explain what supporting documentation you will need to provide.
Current computing IDs are generated in part using an individual’s initials, which can be a concern when name changes occur. Changing a computing ID is a complex process. A computing ID, for instance, cannot be changed comprehensively in every UVA system and historical data store. As such, a request to change a computing ID is not advisable.
There are other options that partially mask the computing ID from appearing in some University systems, such as email. These options include establishing an email alias and setting the email “from” address to be something other than the computingID@virginia.edu. The University is in the process of exploring a permanent shift to computing IDs that do not include the initials of an individual’s name.
When you applied to UVA you voluntarily self-identified information about your demographic characteristics that were carried over into your student record. While these are not accessible to you for updates from your Student Information System (SIS) dashboard, you can request that the gender marker be changed by the Office of the University Registrar (UREG). For information about that process contact UREG at UREG@virginia.edu.
If you are a student athlete who seeks to change your gender marker, that change may have implications beyond UVA to be aware of and consider. See NCAA Player Eligibility | Resource
NCAA player eligibility rules may require a specific notation or medical waiver form related to hormone therapy in connection with a medical transition. Student-athletes seeking assistance with this process should contact the Department of Sports Medicine at 434 - 982 - 5450.
For questions about housing options, please contact Housing and Residence Life (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit the Inclusive Housing FAQ. The University strives to assign housing consistent with a student’s gender identity. In addition, the University offers a number of first-year and upper class options designated as “open housing” for students who wish to request roommates regardless of their sex or gender identity. For more information regarding open housing options, see: Open Housing Options at UVA.
Sex-specific facilities at the University, such as restrooms and locker rooms, are available to individuals based on their gender identity. In addition, LGBTQ Student Services at UVA maintains an interactive map which identifies a variety of single-stall and gender-neutral bathrooms throughout UVA, the Medical Center, on the Corner, Downtown Charlottesville, and other nearby areas. In addition, many All-Gender Restrooms have been marked around Grounds; look for the signage.
Student Health provides confidential care and support for students navigating the gender transition process through the Transgender Health Care Team. The team offers outpatient medical and psychological consultations and treatment. The team also provides assistance in accessing alternative resources, such as longer term treatment in the community.
(Note: The Transgender Health Care Team in Student Health has a process for students to indicate a preferred name when seeking medical care.)
If you have your health insurance through the university’s Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan, then you do have coverage for transgender healthcare needs (e.g., surgical, hormone replacement therapy, counseling) within the limitations and exclusions specified in the Plan Documents and Benefits Resources.
If you have your health insurance through your parent’s/guardian’s plan or another plan, please check the details carefully to determine what your health insurance plan will cover and what it will not. All plans are different and some fail to cover transgender healthcare needs. Contact your health plan provider in advance to understand your coverage.
UNIVERSITY AND CHARLOTTESVILLE COMMUNITY RESOURCES
The Office of the Dean of Students (ODOS) provides support to transgender and gender nonconforming students primarily, but not exclusively, through staff in the LGBTQ Center in Newcomb Hall. The Office for Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR) also provides education and response pursuant to the University’s Preventing and Addressing Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policies and Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence, all of which include gender identity as a protected characteristic and collectively protect against discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. The Maxine Platzer Lynn Women's Center also provides support, counseling, and The Room to Breathe in its renovated space across from the Corner.
Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) also facilitates a weekly LGBTQ+ Support Group for students who might find a confidential group setting helpful to their understanding of themselves and their identities.
Image Credit: UVA LGBTQ Center