News Ticker

Gender-Inclusive Accommodations at Pitt-Greensburg

by Kara Goughnour

The University of Pittsburgh is actively taking steps to make future campus and housing policies more accommodating to incoming LGBTQIA+ students.

Currently, if a Pitt-Greensburg student has a preferred name, gender identity, or set of pronouns, that student can inform Student Services through PeopleSoft. This process changes the student’s preferred first name in twenty-eight pages on PeopleSoft, which accordingly allows the student to receive a new Student ID with the preferred first name on it.

Students cannot receive name changes, however, on financial, medical, and law enforcement documents; transcripts; diplomas; W-4 forms; I-9 forms; 1098-T forms; payroll documents; Visa or immigration documents; employment applications and related documents; background check documents; insurance documents; and student conduct records without proof of a legal name change. The preferred first name on these records can be amended after a legal name change under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act during the student’s career or after graduation.

Pitt-Greensburg also made steps in August, 2016 to provide medical care to aid any student or faculty member with transitioning under an update to a 1965 U.S Department of Labor order that prohibits discrimination based on sex which included gender identity.

The University of Pittsburgh Student Health Service in Oakland offers consultation for those undergoing gender therapy, services related to initiation of hormonal therapy, and referrals to mental health or other transgender-related services. Hormone therapy consultation, prescription, and maintenance is not yet held at Pitt-Greensburg Student Health Services.

Gender-Neutral Housing was also brought to Pitt-Greensburg in 2015, and the campus currently has five on-campus gender-neutral rooms, the most gender-neutral rooms that the campus has seen since the 2015 update of the housing policy.

At this time, any transgender or non-binary student that wishes to be housed according to their gender identity must apply for gender-neutral housing to avoid being placed with students of the same biological sex. Pitt Greensburg is actively discussing ways to better accommodate students and aid in the process of finding roommates that create a safe environment, however no plan to change the housing policy itself exists at this time.

Pitt-Greensburg also offers many single-occupancy restrooms, a map for which can be found at https://www.studentaffairs.pitt.edu/lgbtqia/single-occupancy-restrooms-greensburg-campus/. The same link also states that students are welcome to use any restroom that coincides with their gender identity.

At the Oakland campus, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, Pam Connelly, leads a Transgender Working Group on the Oakland campus. This group was created in the summer of 2016 as a result of the 2013 lawsuit against the University by former Pitt-Johnstown student Seamus Johnston. The University violated Title IX, a portion of the 1972 Educational Act, when Johnston was expelled for using the men’s locker room.

Though the group started with broad goals, it now has members of faculty from every branch as well as students working together to better the University of Pittsburgh and has committees that address all aspects of student life, from education inside and outside the classroom to how both facilities and university data can better represent and accommodate students.

If you have any ideas for improving gender-inclusive policies on campus or are interested in taking advantage of any of these gender-inclusive accommodations, please contact Academic Village Coordinator Dr. Sheila Confer at sec10@pitt.edu or Director of Housing and Residence Life Troy Ross at twr@pitt.edu.

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