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The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

Serving the UMN community since 1900

The Minnesota Daily

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For Clairo, “the third time’s the Charm.”
Review: “Charm” by Clairo
Published July 21, 2024

U should help trans students

The University can’t afford half measures when addressing policies that alienate trans people.

In a front-page article last week, the Minnesota Daily explored the University of Minnesota’s naming procedure and its latent dysfunction in alienating transgender students.

When a student changes their preferred name, often their legal name still appears exclusively on class rosters and official University communications. This can make students uncomfortable, drawing potentially unwanted attention and invalidating their identity.

The University isn’t doing this on purpose. Like the Twin Cities as a whole, the school is relatively accepting and has a good track record on LGBT issues. But the University is far from perfect and can’t afford to lose any ground with transgender students.

With this in mind, the only University response to criticism of the naming policy has been fairly short-sighted. One Stop Student Services Director Julie Selander told the Daily through a spokesman that a legal name change is out of the University’s control. There are many reasons a trans student may wait to change their legal name — from cost to not wanting to fully out themselves yet. In this context, legal names are irrelevant.

The University’s approach to gender-neutral housing has also been half-baked. Despite student and administration support, the first gender-neutral housing to open in fall 2015 will be limited, potentially excluding freshmen. This slow rollout, leaving behind the only students required to live in University housing, is extremely disappointing.

We urge the University to amend its naming policy and open any future gender-neutral housing options to freshmen. If the University is serious about keeping its reputation as forward-thinking and accepting of all, it will reconsider the way it responds to complaints from trans students. 

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