Guidelines for the University of Auckland support for trans and gender diverse students’ legal name change

Trans and gender diverse are the preferred terminology by trans and gender diverse staff and students on campus, hence their use in these guidelines.

Introduction

The University of Auckland is committed to achieving an inclusive and equitable study and work environment.

Our values and aspirations make this explicit as does our Equity Policy and Strategic Plan 2013-2020 which includes a commitment to:

  • a diverse student body of the highest possible academic potential (Objective 4)
  • a high quality learning environment that maximises the opportunity for all our students to succeed and provides them with an inclusive, intellectually challenging and transformative educational experience (Objective 7)
  • a safe and healthy environment (Objective 17).

Issue for trans and gender diverse students

LGBTI staff and students are an equity group within the University of Auckland Equity Policy. Trans and gender diverse students’ experiences and University of Auckland research have identified that use of preferred rather than legal names is key to the provision of a safe and inclusive environment for trans and gender diverse students. Inappropriate use of legal names can lead to “outing” and associated negative consequences including to health, safety and wellbeing.

Consistent use of preferred names in a range of university settings is not currently possible with existing systems.

Changing legal names would be a solution for many trans and gender diverse students. However, the cost of a legal name change and associated documentation is a barrier for a number of trans and gender diverse students. The University of Auckland will therefore cover the cost of legal name changes for trans and gender diverse students who meet eligibility criteria as assessed by the Equity Office - Te Ara Tautika.

Application for legal name change support

The Equity Office is responsible for the implementation of legal name change support for trans and gender diverse students who are enrolled at the University of Auckland. Applicants will make a request (by email or mail) to the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity) identifying their eligibility for legal name change support and details of the payments requested. The Equity Office will arrange a meeting between the applicant and the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity) or her nominee on receipt of the application. Applicants are welcome to bring support people with them to the meeting.

Eligibility

Trans and gender diverse students who are enrolled at the University of Auckland from November 2014 are eligible for payment for costs associated with one legal name change.

Approval for legal name change support payment will be given by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity), or nominee, based on the application and following the meeting with the applicant.

Privacy

All applicants’ personal information supplied to the University is protected by the Privacy Act, which places strict requirements on the use and disclosure of personal information. For more information please visit Privacy at the University of Auckland.

Financial Support

Eligible students will be reimbursed for:

Once an application has been approved by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity), or nominee, the University of Auckland will transfer the required funds into the applicant’s bank account prior to their name change application, allowing the applicant to then use those funds to pay for the required changes.

The applicant will provide the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity) with documentary confirmation within two months that the name change has been made and with copies of receipts for the payments.

Other support

The Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity) and the Equity Office are committed to on-going responsiveness to and support for trans and gender diverse students and staff. We welcome feedback on how this support may be enhanced.

Contacts

Ms Trudie McNaughton, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity)
Email: t.mcnaughton@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: 09 3737599 ext 83505.

Dr Terry O’Neill, Director - Student Equity
Email: t.oneill@auckland.ac.nz
Phone: 09 37373599 ext 88211

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