Academic Catalog

Gender Identity Policy (Policy 3.75)

Policy 3.75

Glen Oaks Community College is committed to a College culture that respects and values all students and employees and fosters understanding of gender identity within the College community. All students and employees will adhere to procedures established in connection with this policy to ensure a safe working and learning environment, free of discrimination and harassment.

Jurisdiction of the Policy
All questions or concerns regarding the College’s Gender Identity will be handled by the Vice President of Student Services (for students, community members, and visitors) and the Director of Human Resources (for College employees):

Tonya Howden                                               Jamie Yesh
Vice-President of Student Services                Director of Human Resources                       
269-294-4230                                                 269-294-4229

A.  Sex: The classification of people as male or female as assigned at birth.
B. Gender Identity: One's internal, deeply held sense of one's gender that may or may not conform to that typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. For some people, their gender identity does not fit neatly into one of the two choices.
C. Gender Expression: External manifestations of gender, expressed through one's name, pronouns, clothing, haircut, behavior, voice, or body characteristics.
D. Sexual Orientation: An individual's enduring physical, romantic and/or emotional attraction to another person. Gender identity and sexual orientation are not the same. Transgender people may be heterosexual, lesbian, gay, or bisexual. For example, a person who transitions from male to female and is attracted solely to men would identify as a heterosexual woman.
E. Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from what is typically associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. People under the transgender umbrella may describe themselves using one or more of a wide variety of terms - including transgender.
F. Transitioning: Transitioning refers to processes undertaken by some transgender people to align their gender expression with their gender identity. Aspects of transitioning may include social processes (e.g., telling others, changes in appearance, using a preferred name and/or different pronouns), medical processes (e.g., hormone therapies, gender confirmation surgery), and/or legal processes (e.g., obtaining a court-ordered name change and/or change in legal sex designation).

A. Campus Records:  At the request of the student, the College will engage in reasonable and good faith efforts to use a preferred name and/or gender on internal College records such as class rosters and class schedules.  The College is not permitted to use a preferred name and/or gender on the following records: enrollment verifications, transcripts, diplomas, financial aid documents, Visa documents, W-2 forms, and third-party reports.  There may be some situations where it may be necessary to clarify that a preferred name is different from a legal name. Examples of this include official interactions with police/law enforcement, security, and verification of medical records. 

B. Restrooms:  All students, faculty, staff, and visitors have the right to use the restroom that coincides with their gender identity.

C. Privacy:  College personnel shall not disclose information that may reveal a student’s gender identity. Under the Family Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA), only those College employees with a legitimate educational need may have access to a student’s records or the information contained within those records.

D. Names/Pronouns: When requested by the student or employee, College staff should engage in reasonable and good faith efforts to address students and employees by their preferred names and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, regardless of whether there has been a legal name change. Consistent with these guidelines, College personnel should make every effort to maintain the confidentiality of the student’s gender identity status. Students who need to change their names or pronouns under this policy should submit a Change of Status form to the Records and Registration Office. College employees who need to change their names/pronouns under this policy should submit their requests to Human Resources.

E. Student ID Cards and E-mail Addresses: Students and employees may request an ID card be issued in the name that reflects an individual’s gender identity that is consistently asserted at College. Once a student has submitted the Change of Status Form to the Records and Registration Office and the name change is approved, the student may obtain a new student ID card. Should students need to change a College-issued e-mail address to include the name that reflects the individual’s gender identity consistently asserted at College, they should contact the Records and Registration Office, who will complete an IT work order to change the information appropriately. Records and Registration staff will notify the student of the new login information after IT has completed the request. College employees who wish to request a change of their College-issued email under this policy should submit their requests to Human Resources.

F.  Athletics and Physical Education: Transgender students shall have the same opportunities to participate in physical education as all other students. Students may participate in physical education and athletics in accordance with the student’s gender identity that is consistently asserted at College. Participation in competitive athletic activities will be resolved on a case-by-case basis by the Title IX Coordinator and the Director of Athletics.

G. Locker Room Accessibility: GOCC aims to support transgender students and employees while ensuring the safety of all. The use of restrooms and locker rooms by transgender students, employees and members of the community requires colleges to consider numerous factors, including, but not limited to the transgender individual’s preference; protecting privacy; maximizing social integration; minimizing stigmatization; ensuring equal opportunity to participate; the student’s age; and protecting the safety of all persons. A transgender student or employee who expresses a need or desire for increased privacy will be provided with reasonable alternative arrangements, which may include the use of a private area, a separate changing schedule, or a single stall restroom. A transgender person may not be required to use a locker room or restroom that conflicts with the individual’s gender identity consistently asserted at the College.

H. Gender Segregation in Other Areas: In any other circumstance where students are separated by gender in College activities (i.e., overnight field trips), students will be permitted to participate in accordance with their gender identity consistently asserted at College. Activities that may involve the need for accommodations to address student privacy concerns will be addressed on a case-by-case basis considering the factors set forth above.

Bullying, Harassment, and Discrimination
Discrimination, bullying, and harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression is prohibited. It is the responsibility of the College and all staff to ensure that all students, including transgender and gender nonconforming students, have safe school environments. The scope of this responsibility includes ensuring that any incident of discrimination, harassment, or bullying is given immediate attention, including investigating the incident, taking appropriate action, and providing students and staff with appropriate resources and support. Enforcement of anti-bullying policies should focus on education and prevention rather than exclusionary discipline.

Complaints alleging discrimination or harassment based on a student’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression are to be taken seriously and handled in the same manner as other discrimination, bullying, or harassment complaints.

Approved by Board of Trustees:  2/9/17, revised 1/19, 1/20, reviewed 3/9/23