New policy allows students to use facilities consistent with gen - WFSB 3 Connecticut

New policy allows students to use facilities consistent with gender identity

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(CSCU photo) (CSCU photo)

A new policy now allows students on all 17 state universities and colleges in CT to access bathrooms and locker rooms that are consistent with their gender identity or expression.

On Monday, the Connecticut Board of Regents announced that it approved the policy in response to an executive order that was issued by Gov. Dannel Malloy regarding bathroom access for transgender students.

A press release said students will not need to use bathrooms that are gender neutral or separate in any way.

“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,” said CSCU President Mark Ojakian. “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.”

The board also adopted a new policy allowing students to identify themselves by their “preferred first name” on all unofficial documents and records, like student ID cards.

Ojakian issued a letter to all 17 campuses on this topic earlier this year.

"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," said Gov. Dannel Malloy. “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.”

The Board updated an existing policy to comply with Malloy’s executive order issued in February regarding the use of bathrooms on all campuses. The new policy now reads: “Requiring a transgender or gender non-conforming person to use a separate, non-integrated space, potentially identifies that person as well as potentially marginalizes a person. Such treatment fails to recognize restroom and locker room facilities on the campuses as public accommodations and that denial of access may result in the deprivation of an equal educational or employment environment. In this vein the BOR is issuing this policy so that individuals may access restrooms and locker rooms, in a manner consistent with their gender identity or expression.”

Read more about the facilities policy here.

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