Students at all 17 schools in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system are now allowed access to bathrooms, locker rooms and identification cards consistent with their gender identity.
“I believe strongly that people that identify as whatever they want to should be treated the same as others,” Kate Hoinoski, a CSCU freshman, said.
Students may start using bathrooms aligning with their gender identify and they may also use their preferred first name on all unofficial documents and records, including student ID cards.
“This is just a first step, right? It’s not only about the bathroom. It’s about making them feel safe, making them feel part of the greater community,” Mark Ojakian, CSCU president, said.
A statement from the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities said the Connecticut Board of Regents approved new policies in response to an executive order Gov. Dannel Malloy issued in February about access to bathroom facilities for transgender students.
“Our focus is and always will be on developing successful, engaged students and to do that we must continue to provide a learning environment that encourages personal growth for everyone,” Ojakian said in a statement. “Transgender students are part of the CSCU community and we want to make sure they feel valued and empowered to pursue their education. These policies are aligned with our core values and our history as an institution.”
"Discrimination, harassment, and bullying have no place in our classrooms or at our schools. I applaud the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities for taking this important step," Malloy said in a statement. “Every student, no matter their gender identity or expression, should be treated equally and fairly in a safe, supportive environment. Connecticut will remain a state of inclusiveness because we firmly believe that diversity makes us stronger.”
Students will be allowed to use their “preferred name” on all documents that are not legal, including course rosters, student ID cards, email addresses and any honors or awards.
Students will not need to use bathroom facilities that are gender neutral or separate in any way, the statement says.