Demand UW Allow Trans Student Chosen First Names on Diplomas

Demand UW Allow Trans Student Chosen First Names on Diplomas

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Vern Harner started this petition to University of Washington and

My name is Vern Harner and I'm a Phd Candidate and instructor in the School of Social Work at the University of Washington. I am proud of what I have accomplished as a doctoral student, including being named a Husky 100, receiving the prestigious Excellence in Teaching award, and serving as communications coordinator for the Caucus of LGBTQ Faculty and Students in Social Work. However, I am worried that, when I graduate, I will not be able to have a diploma that I can be proud of. 

While the University of Washington supports trans students in many ways, it does not currently allow trans and nonbinary students to have our chosen first names on our diplomas. There is no state or federal law enforcing full legal names on diplomas. While transcripts must reflect legal names, there are multiple universities, including Yale, Miami University, the University of Missouri, and the University of Denver, that have policies making it simple for trans students to have diplomas reflecting chosen first names (regardless of whether a legal name change has been completed).  I am hoping to graduate next year --I would love for my diploma to match the name on the masters diploma I received from Arizona State University 5 years ago and to be able to hang my diploma on my office wall, as is the norm for college instructors and professors (which I hope to be!).

The fact that UW policy does not allow this is not only an equity issue, but a safety issue for trans individuals. Updating the preferred name policy at UW to be in line with the university's diversity and equity focus and allow preferred/chosen first names on diplomas is a necessary step that must be completed as soon as possible to ensure that, not only our trans students can be safe and affirmed, but that we can continue to recruit and retain top tier students, faculty, and staff.

Sign this petition to demand that the University of Washington Faculty Senate expedite a policy change to allow diplomas to reflect the chosen first names of trans and nonbinary students. If you are affiliated with UW (faculty, staff, student, alumni), please note that when signing. Thank you for all of your support!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 35,000!
At 35,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!