This guide provides useful information on resources and policies supporting trans students and employees at UMD. If you're looking for trainings or good practices for how you can support trans people on campus, please check out those sections of our website, or check out the broader #TransTerps campaign site.
The University of Maryland (UMD) Non-Discrimination Policy includes "gender identity or expression" as a protected category, and the university has a Policy on Inclusive Language and a Policy Concerning Name, Sex, Gender, and Other Personal Identity Information in University Records. The LGBT Equity Center is committed to assisting transgender, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary people as they navigate UMD. While we do not control the policies or procedures of other offices, we are here as a resource and can provide guidance and referrals.
Should you require more information or support, our staff is available to meet with you. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment. You may also stop by the Center in 2218 Marie Mount Hall. We are typically open during business hours when classes are in session (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm).
Below, you can find resources that help you to:
- Find Community and Activities
- Change Name/Gender/Pronouns in Systems
- Find Information on Restrooms and Locker Rooms
- Determine A Good Housing Situation
- Find Health and Wellness Resources
- Report Bias Incidents, Harassment, or Discrimination
Finding a supportive and understanding community space is critical for many students. Check out TransU, a student discussion group within the Pride Alliance. Visit their Facebook group to learn more. You might also find some of the other student groups to be great spaces to be.
Both student and employees may find some of the events and trainings related to trans issues to be spaces where you can connect.
You may also find that the various official liaisons to the LGBT communities who are in a variety of offices on campus can support you in a variety of activities, whether it's promoting your safety and wellness, studying abroad, handling student/scholar visa issues, involvements in social/community organizations, or finding research materials. They're waiting for you to reach out to them.
Primary Name and Legal Name
At UMD, your "primary name" and "legal name" are different:
- Your primary name is the name by which you are generally known. It appears on university identification cards, class rosters, and directories of students and employees.
- Your legal name appears on government issued identity documents such as a passport. At UMD, your legal name must appear on official transcripts, financial aid documents, payroll documents, and other places where a legal name is required by law or university policy.
Unless you specify otherwise, your default primary name is your legal name. To specify a primary name that is different from a legal name, the process is different for students and employees.
Students must file a Primary Name Change Request Form with the Office of the Registrar. Please read the instruction sheet and the form carefully. Keep in mind that your primary name will be used for all communication with the university, including any notices sent to your home address such as tuition and other payments due to the university. Also, anyone who has access to information about you online will see your primary name, which will be used in all instances except on official transcripts, financial aid documents, payroll documents, and other places where a legal name is required by law or university policy. You will need a legal change of name to change the name on your official transcript, financial aid documents, etc. (see below).
Employees may access their personnel files directly through this form to update their primary name. You will see your "Payroll Name" which is your legal name. This is the name that will appear on your payroll checks. You will need a legal change of name to change your payroll name (see below). You will also see "Alternative Name" -- this is your primary name, and you may update it yourself using the form.
Students and employees, please note that the primary name in your personnel file may overwrite the primary name with the Registrar. Therefore, if you are a student and you work or have ever worked for the university and still have a personnel file, you must make the change using this form and file a primary name change request with the Registrar using this form in order for your primary name to appear on class rosters, etc.
Change of Legal Name
To change your name on all documents at the University of Maryland, you must obtain a Court Order. Students will need to provide a copy to the Office of the Registrar. Once you present the Court Order, all appearances of your name under their control will be changed to the new name. If you are employed on campus, you must present the Court Order to Human Resources. Typically, you will go through the person responsible for payroll and other human resource issues within the department where you work. If you are both a student and an employee, you will need to do both.
How you obtain a Court Order depends on the jurisdiction where you live. In the State of Maryland, you must apply to the Circuit Court of the county (or City of Baltimore) where you reside. The exact procedures vary from one county to another and may change from time to time. You might wish to consult with a lawyer on this process. Student Legal Aid may be able to help, or if you are not a student you might seek out a community legal clinic.
Name and Pronouns on Zoom
Within an individual Zoom session, if the host has not disabled it, you should be able to change your display name under the participants tab, by selecting yourself and renaming yourself. You might have to make such changes each time you enter a Zoom session. However, a more static way to change how your name and pronouns displays is through the web portal at umd.zoom.us. After logging in, go to "Profile", and in the name section go to "Edit" and then change your name in the "First Name" and "Last Name" fields as appropriate (you could add pronouns after your last name, for example), and when you hit "Save Changes" this will also modify how your Display Name appears. This will remain unchanged until the next time you login to umd.zoom.us using the Secure Sign-On, which tends to be less frequently than you might enter into Zoom meetings.
Name and Pronouns on ELMS-Canvas
In some circumstances, your name on ELMS-Canvas will automatically update if you change your primary name. It is also possible to change your name on Canvas without changing your primary name in other campus systems. Regardless, if your name does not appear on Canvas as you would like it to, be sure to update it in Canvas directly, in all three of the editable fields. DIT maintains instructions on how to modify your name on Canvas.
If you would like to add, remove, or update your pronouns on Canvas, please follow the instructions in the DIT article on how to modify your pronouns on Canvas.
Changing Your Name in Other Systems
There may be localized systems on campus where you may also wish to change your display name. These changes may be independent of how your name appears in the most centralized systems for students and employees (referenced above). Please contact local database/systems administrators to find out how. Here are a few of the more common places where you may also wish to change your displayed name, and links to the DIT articles on how to make the change.
- Gmail display name (for employees and students)
- Directory ID (which affects your logins and also your email address)
- Cisco phones display name (for employees with phones)
Change of Gender Markers
Your gender marker does not appear on ID cards or transcripts, but might be seen by personnel in various databases. If your gender identity does not match the marker in University records, students may use this form to update their student record. Take the completed form to the Office of the Registrar (First Floor, Mitchell Building). Employees may update their gender identity directly by going to http://ares.umd.edu/home/. Under "Payroll and Human Resources," select "Display/Update Personal Data." Individuals who are both students and employees must update their information in both systems. While many current campus IT systems do not have a nonbinary marker, UMD has committed to introducing a nonbinary marker during the forthcoming enterprise system overhauls. It is against university policy to use the gender marker that happens to be listed in the system to grant or deny access to a facility, and it is also against university policy to require identification to use a gender-specific facility.
You should be allowed to use facilities that correspond to your gender identity or expression. Campus non-discrimination policy protects these rights, which are further detailed in this facilities policy which clarifies that your gender identity or expression is how you identify. Campus policy prohibits the use of university records (e.g. in IT systems) to permit/deny access to a gender-specific facility and also prohibits requiring someone to display an identity document in order to use a gender-specific facility.
You might also wish to use facilities open to people of any gender.
Facilities Management maintains a campus map that displays gender inclusive restrooms. When you click on the restroom icon, you will see a box that lists the room numbers for these restrooms. You can also find family restrooms and LGBT resources on the map by clicking Layers -> Campus Services -> LGBT Resources. If you find an error on the map or something that isn't up to date, please click on the "Feedback / Comments" link on the top right of the map and let Facilities Management know about the problem.
University Recreation and Wellness maintains two gender inclusive locker rooms. One is in Eppley Recreation Center and the other is in Ritchie Coliseum. RecWell trains their staff to provide a welcoming environment for all patrons, including trans people. Should you need assistance locating these locker rooms or have any concerns, please see any member of the RecWell staff. You may also contact Dr. Wallace Eddy, Associate Director of RecWell.
The Department of Resident Life maintains a web page about LGBTQ+ students and housing. Michelle McCubbin (email@example.com) is also their liaison to LGBTQ students, and you may contact her directly about any special needs or concerns. Through the web page, you can learn more about different kinds of housing and terminology at UMD, including gender inclusive housing which allows students of any genders to live together in the same residence hall room, as well as mixed gender housing, and single gender housing options.
The Office of Off-Campus Housing Services recognizes that LGBTQ students and employees may have concerns when seeking housing. You may find various tools on their web site that can assist you in finding appropriate off-campus housing. Their staff are also available to speak with students and employees regarding any specific needs or concerns.
Medical and Mental Health
Medical: The University Health Center maintains a web page about LGBT health as well as a specific pages about starting hormone therapy on campus. For any questions about your particular situation, please contact the University Health Center's LGBT Liaison, Jenna Beckwith (301-314-8130), or the University Health Center Faculty and Staff LGBT Liaison, Joan Bellsey (301-314-8099).
Mental: Both the Counseling Center and the University Health Center are very LGBT friendly and provide mental healthcare services. The Counseling Center offers the Rainbow Walk-In Hour for students who are LGBTQ+ or from an LGBTQ+ headed family. Students may also wish to join the Counseling Center's support group. Additionally, you can find out more about the Behavioral Health Services at the University Health Center.
Both the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and the health insurance plans offered to State Employees cover most gender-affirming procedures/treatments, but you will have to consult with your plan documents and insurance representatives to confirm coverage and get questions answered about specific coverage. If you are an employee, your HR representative may be able to help answer questions or if you are using SHIP, the University Health Center may be able to help answer questions.
In case of emergency or crime, please contact the Department of Public Safety.
To discuss issues of discrimination or harassment or to file a complaint, contact the Office of Civil Rights & Sexual Misconduct.
You may also contact a member of the Conflict Resolvers Network to help explore your options.