This is a guide to transitioning at Harvey Mudd College. Below are some resources on coming out as trans*, changing your name at the College, meeting your housing needs at Harvey Mudd, and medical resources in the greater Los Angeles and Inland Empire areas.
Not all of this information will apply to everyone. Being trans* means different things to different people and there’s no “right” way to be trans*. The transitioning process is up to you. The purpose of this guide is to provide contacts at Harvey Mudd that can better support your different needs as you transition.
If you are an incoming first-year student, we encourage you to contact Al Forbes (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Queer Resource Center and/or OID’s assistant dean, Zack Ritter (email@example.com) before you get to campus. Al and/or Zack will be able to answer any questions you may have, as well as connect you with current trans* and genderqueer students to answer any questions about life at Harvey Mudd and The Claremont Colleges.
Coming Out to Faculty and Staff
Sending your professor an email can be a good way to let them know that you prefer to be called a different name and use different pronouns. Ohio University’s LGBT Center suggests including the follow points in an email:
- Statement of the name/gender they have on class roster.
- State chosen name and gender (“My pronouns are _______”).
- Brief explanation (“I identify as transgender, which means _____ to me.”).
- “I prefer for no one to know about my gender identity” vs. “I would be willing to talk about my gender identity as it related to class discussion” (depending on class and personal preference).
- Thank them for being understanding.
- Say they can email you if they have questions.
- Provide your contact information.
- Provide them with relevant websites for more information.
They also provide this sample email:
I am a student in your (insert class name here). I am getting in contact with you to let you know that I identify as (insert identity here). My name will probably show up on your roster as (insert legal name here), but I would prefer to go by (insert chosen name here) and (masculine/feminine/neutral) pronouns. I will be putting (insert chosen name here) on my assignments and would appreciate it if you called me that in class. If you have any questions for me regarding this, please don’t hesitate to contact me. My email address is (insert email address here) and my phone number is (insert phone number here).
Thank you very much for your understanding,
(sign with chosen name)
If you don’t feel comfortable communicating directly with your professors, you can contact Al Forbes at the QRC or the Dean Lori Bassman, associate dean for academic affairs in the Division of Student Affairs office (firstname.lastname@example.org), who can send an email to the professor letting them know about your chosen name and pronoun.
Name and Gender Change at Harvey Mudd College
Legal Name Changes
Legal name is defined as that name verified by a birth certificate, marriage certificate, social security card, passport, driver’s license, state-issue identification card, or court order. Students wishing to change their name in their official academic record from the name of record under which they were admitted to the College must provide the registrar with legal documentation stating their new legal name, such as a court order, current driver’s license with photo, social security card, or resident alien card. Upon receipt and verification of this documentation, the registrar will change the student’s name in the student’s official academic record.
The College will reissue a diploma for a graduate whose name has legally changed. The reissued diploma will carry the date the degree was originally awarded, but official signatures may differ from those on the original document. To request a reissued diploma, see the Harvey Mudd College registrar’s office website. The standard replacement fee in effect at the time of the replacement order will apply.
Preferred Name Changes
Names cannot be changed on official academic records except proof of legal name change (see above). However, it is possible to have preferred names appear on class rosters, on Sakai, and in email usernames. To request a preferred name, visit the Harvey Mudd College registrar’s office. The registrar’s office will add a student’s preferred name to the Harvey Mudd student information system and communicate with computing and information services and other administrative offices once the student has granted permission to do so. Updates typically take about two weeks to process. Students are reminded that names appear in many places, and legal names are the default for official College records, including transcripts. Sending an email can be a good way to let people know that you prefer to be called a different name. If you would like assistance communicating this change, see the resources above under Coming Out to Faculty and Staff.
Changes to a Student’s Identified Sex and Gender
A student’s official academic record reflects the sex the student identified to the College when the student applied for admission to the College. Students who subsequently wish to change their sex designation in their official academic record must request that change at the office the registrar. The College is obligated by law to follow a federally determined reporting method for providing summary statistics of student enrollments, which mandates a male-female binary.
You will find that the Harvey Mudd community strives to identify you as you identify yourself. Sending an email can be a good way to let people know that you use different pronouns, for example. If you would like assistance communicating this change in the expression of gender on your behalf,see the resources above under Coming Out to Faculty and Staff.
In the event that the College does not amend a student’s legal name, preferred name, or gender, the student shall have the right to a hearing. If, after the hearing, the College does not amend the record, students have the right to insert a statement in their record with the student’s comments on the contested information, a statement that the student disagrees with the hearing decision, or both. This statement will be disclosed whenever the record to which the statement relates is disclosed. Grievances about this process may be addressed to the Title IX Coordinator.
Harvey Mudd College has gender-neutral housing available. There are single rooms available for first-year students. Please contact Michael Edwards (email@example.com), assistant dean for residential life, to find an option that works for you. You may want to consider your roommate situation, whether you would prefer a single, and ultimately, what will make you most comfortable.
Finding a Therapist and Gender-Confirming Benefits
As of the fall of 2013 The Claremont College Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) will cover gender reassignment benefits of $100,000 per policy year.
For questions regarding coverage please contact Ascension at 1.800.537.1777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find a therapist to begin your transition process, the University California Riverside (UCR) has developed a handy Community Resources Guide to finding trans* friendly doctors and therapists in the Riverside and San Bernardino area. You may also contact Al Forbea at the QRC for a list of local therapists. A therapist can often be your coach, helping you through the process and providing support along the way. You may also want to contact The Center for Transyouth Health and Development for support and resources.
Some trans* people decide to take hormones as part of their transition. It’s very important that you get your hormones from a health professional and that you are being monitored to make sure that the hormones are safe for you. Your health professional and therapist can talk with you about the risks associated with hormones, what changes to expect, and provide emotional support. Most therapists use the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Standards.