Lehigh University's non-discrimination policy includes gender identity and gender expression. Students may anonymously report bias incidents relating to gender identity and/or expression as well as any other identity by using this form.
NAME & GENDER CHANGES
Pride Center staff and other University stakeholders are actively working on updating Lehigh's internal policies & systems to better meet the needs of transgender community members. Currently, students who have obtained a legal name and/or gender change must bring proof of the change to the Registrar's Office in order to have the change updated in all University systems. More information about state-by-state regulations for changes on identity documents can be found here.
Students who have not obtained a legal name change can designate a chosen name that will update the name that displays when they send emails. In order to do this:
- Sign into your Google account.
- In the top right corner, click on the gear.
- Select "Settings."
- Select "Account."
- In the "Send mail as" section, locate the email address you'd like to edit and click "Edit Info" next to the email address.
- In the "Name" section, specify your chosen name and click "Save Changes."
Students who have not obtained a legal name change can also update their name in Banner so that their chosen name appears on on-campus housing rosters. In order to do this:
- Log into the Connect Lehigh portal.
- Click "Banner."
- Click "Personal Information."
- Click "Update Preferred First Name."
You can also update your chosen first name on LINC (Lehigh Involvement Connection) by opening your profile settings and entering in your chosen first name.
Students who have not obtained a legal name change can also designate their chosen first name to appear on their Lehigh ID card rather than their legal name. To receive a new Lehigh ID card that displays your chosen name at no charge, contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the name that you would like on your card, along with your LIN. Please note that there may be situations where legal identification is required in which your updated Lehigh ID card will not be sufficient. These situations may include, but are not limited to: picking up financial aid or payroll checks, picking up transcripts, & attendance at exams. Please be prepared to present 2 forms of ID in these scenarios.
Note: Currently, this option is only available to students who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, or non-binary.
Transgender students may also get their chosen first names updated on CourseSite. Please email email@example.com for assistance with this.
Unfortunately, chosen first names do not currently display on course rosters. Some students may choose to email their faculty members before their first class to indicate the name they go by to minimize confusion and the potential for revealing personal and/or medical information. See the sample email template provided below as an example:
Dear Dr./Prof. _________,
I am registered for your (name of class) this (fall/winter/spring/summer (semester). The name you will see for me on the generated roster is incorrect. My name is _________. Please refer to me using ______ pronouns. If you have a TA assisting with your course, please pass this information along to them as well.
The team at Lehigh's Mail Center are committed to inclusively and equitably serving all students. If you are a transgender and/or non-binary student who would like a name different from your legal name used at the Mail Center (for packages and other mail), your name can be manually updated by contacting the Pride Center at firstname.lastname@example.org, Doug Snyder at email@example.com, or by going to the Mail Center directly and speaking to a supervisor or manager on duty.
ORIENTATION & FIRST-YEAR EXPERIENCE
Transgender first-year students are encouraged to sign up for a mentor through the Mentor Collective, a peer mentorship program designed to help you make the most of your first year of college. In the Mentor Collective registration survey, you will be able to sign up with your chosen name and input your gender identity. First-years who are interested in trans-specific mentorship can contact the Pride Center at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our Iris mentorship program and the peer-led TGNC group.
Lehigh University's Residential Services and Residence Life teams are committed to working with all students to ensure their on-campus housing arrangements meet their needs and provide a safe and harassment-free living environment. With the understanding that all students have different needs, both admitted and returning students are encouraged to contact Christina D'Aversa at email@example.com or 610-758-3500 to discuss options for living on-campus. Because of space limitations, students who contact Residential Services early in the housing assignment process will have more flexibility in their options.
Options for housing are dependent on vacancies and availability, and could include the following:
- A single room with a private bathroom on a single-gendered floor
- A single room with a common bathroom on a single-gendered floor
- A double, triple, or quad room with a common bathroom on a single-gendered floor
- A double, triple, or quad room with a common bathroom on an all-gender floor
- A double room with a private bathroom on a single-gendered floor
- A suite-style room (4 people) with a shared bathroom on an all-gender floor
- An apartment-style room (2, 3, or 4 people) with a shared bathroom on an all-gender floor
HEALTH & WELLNESS
Lehigh University's Health & Wellness Center is committed to providing inclusive care for all students. Currently, the Health & Wellness Center refers students seeking hormone treatment to a valued community provider. However, if a student has a current prescription for injectable hormones and would like help learning how to self-inject, a Health & Wellness Center nurse is available to assist. More information about Health & Wellness Center services can be found at www.lehigh.edu/health or by calling 610-758-3870. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about community health providers with expertise in transgender care.
University Counseling & Psychological Services is committed to providing inclusive, competent care for students of all genders and sexualities. UCPS staff will work with all students on a case-by-case basis to determine treatment that best meets their needs, which may include individual counseling, group counseling, and/or referral to a community provider. Students wishing to receive care or get consultation from counselors in the UCPS office can make an appointment by calling 610-758-3880. An on-call counselor is also available for crisis assistance after hours and can be reached by calling this number and pressing "0".
Beyond care for basic services through the Health & Wellness Center and Counseling & Psychological Services, all undergraduate and graduate students have access to the University-sponsored health insurance plan, which includes coverage for hormone treatment as well as many gender-affirming surgeries for transgender individuals. For more information about enrolling in this plan, visit this link. For information regarding medical coverage for gender-affirming surgeries under the student health insurance plan, click here.
Lehigh University affirms the right of all students to use the restroom according to their gender identity without fear of harassment. If a Lehigh University student or guest should wish to utilize them, our campus also has single-stall, gender-inclusive restrooms in most academic and residential buildings. A map can be found here.
The Lehigh University Athletics Department is dedicated to upholding the University's commitment to inclusion of and equal opportunities for transgender athletes. We abide by NCAA's policies on transgender student-athlete participation (more information can be found here).
FRATERNITIES & SORORITIES
Did you know trans students can join a fraternity or sorority?
Fraternities and sororities set forth their own membership requirements within their constitutions, bylaws, and governing documents, and decisions about membership are oftentimes based on a potential recruit's character, values, and ability to connect with other members. Additionally, a fraternal organization can commit to trans inclusion while also maintaining its identity as a fraternity of men or a sorority of women. With this in mind, Lehigh's Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs supports equal opportunities in a safe and respectful environment for all students regardless of gender or sexuality, and affirms the ability of transgender students interested in affiliating with a Greek organization to join based on their gender identity.
Trans students should not have to guess and hope their way into fair consideration for membership in a fraternal organization, and there are a number of resources available to you. The Lambda 10 Project has developed a Fraternity & Sorority Resource Guide to create awareness and education around issues of gender identity and gender expression within Fraternity and Sorority Life. This resource is intended for students interested in exploring Greek membership, current affiliated students, and others.
Students are also encouraged to contact Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at email@example.com with any questions regarding the recruitment process and membership.
RELIGIOUSLY AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS
The Chaplain’s Office serves the university's mission to advance learning, to respect human dignity, and to cultivate enlightened citizens through the moral and spiritual development of all members of the community. The Chaplain's Office serves a religiously diverse community and without reservation endorses and celebrates the University’s inclusion and diversity policies, including those provisions related to transgender persons. Membership in student religious organizations (clubs) is open to any student. Religious clubs are required by their constitution to subscribe to the ideals and policies of the organization and the University regarding membership, including policies on diversity and inclusion, although in respect for religious freedom, a religious group may specify requirements for members holding leadership positions and participating in particular rituals.
Lehigh's Office of International Affairs supports students of all genders in their study abroad endeavors. Just as in the US, attitudes and understanding of transgender identities vary by region. Many transgender travelers encounter no problems overseas, but it's important to prepare before you go. Transgender students should research their destination and talk with Study Abroad and Pride Center staff about the cultural norms and transgender rights and issues in their location. The Lehigh Study Abroad website contains links to many resources regarding LGBTQ+ issues abroad. To learn more about study abroad opportunities or to ask questions about traveling abroad as a transgender person, contact your study abroad advisor. .
The Center for Career and Professional Development is committed to providing students of all genders with the resources and support they need to move forward in their careers beyond Lehigh. Students who have not legally changed their name may update their name in the Handshake platform by following the instructions below; after updating, your chosen name will appear in your Handshake profile to prospective employers and at career-related events:
- Log into your Handshake account
- Click under your name (along the top blue bar) which will then open up a selection window
- Choose "Settings and Privacy" (this will open up your account information)
- Locate "preferred name" and type in your chosen name
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the green "save update" button
Students may opt to have their chosen name rather than their legal name printed on their diploma. When a student applies for graduation, they can enter their name as they would like it to be displayed on their diploma. This will also be the name that is printed in the commencement ceremony booklet. Please note that this does not change a student's name in their student record but rather only changes how it is displayed on the diploma itself.