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Monday, April 15
The Indiana Daily Student


The ID transition

opinion illo

IU Student Association has passed a resolution to allow students to put preferred names on their student IDs instead of their legal names.

This resolution might affect multiple demographics. It is mainly directed toward supporting transgender students at IU, allowing preferred names on the front and legal names on the back of the new I.D. cards.

Transgender is an identity often confused with queer sexuality.

However, “trans” means someone who’s gender does not correlate, or they do not identify with, the biological sex they were assigned at birth.

Cisgender students make up the majority of the IU population, or people who’s gender identification correlates with their biological sex.

However, there is a significant enough percentage of trans students on campus that protecting their identities and rights warrants a policy change.

This new resolution is the inclusionary next step toward what the Editorial Board hopes is a status quo of acceptance at IU for transgender students.

It will allow students to identify themselves without unnecessary and personal explanations every time someone looks at their ID.

The policy may even extend to the registar, so that students can use their preferred names for class ?rosters.

The best part is that it seems easy enough to do, especially since Purdue University has already ?done it.

There is already a preferred nickname option with student IDs, so the real change enacted by the resolution is the legal name that will be placed on the back of the card.

While trans students, and any student, have every right to go by whatever names they choose, unfortunately legal documents require standardized legal names, most likely those that appear on their birth certificates.

In order to be able to correctly identify someone in an emergency — medical or otherwise — the legal name is required and should be present somewhere on the ID. In this way, the legal name functions more as an identification password than as a casual identifier.

When the card is assigned, the student gives a preferred name as well as their legal name, and the preferred name goes on the front of the ID.

This simple interaction can eliminate so much confusion for professors or faculty and inconvenience for trans students.

This also applies to international students, some of whom feel the need to choose an “American” name while in the United States. This new ID option will also clear up confusion for them. Instead of having to clarify with professors, students can provide Americanized names to ?begin with.

This resolution, along with a previous resolution to provide gender-neutral bathrooms on dorm floors, represents a new swing toward trans acceptance at IU. It’s time for these changes to be made.

Students should be able to live every aspect of their lives as their true selves.

This includes their academic lives. College is a time for open-mindedness, acceptance and diversity, and this wave toward trans acceptance is true to those ideals.

IUSA deserves credit for drafting and passing this resolution and contributing to the inclusion of trans students on campus.

Hopefully, this recent string will continue, and all students can continue to benefit from it.

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