Informed by the overarching priority of student success for all students, BSU is committed to promoting a safe, welcoming, and diverse campus climate in which to learn and work. As part of the University’s values of equity and inclusion, BSU is proud to offer students, faculty/librarians, administrators, staff, and alumnx the option to indicate their First Name in Use, Gender Identity, and Pronouns in Use.
The University’s policy for First Name in Use, Gender Identity, and Pronouns in Use options are consistent with BSU’s Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan and the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, protecting transgender individuals against discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
Although the policy reflects best practice for supporting transgender and gender non-conforming members of college communities, the options to indicate First Name in Use, Gender Identity, and Pronouns in Use are not limited to transgender members of the community. Anyone who has a First Name in Use other than their legal first name, and/or who seeks to state their Gender Identity and Pronouns in Use are encouraged to opt in.
Any BSU student, faculty/librarian, staff, administrator, or alumnx may indicate their First Name in Use, Gender Identity, and/or Pronouns in Use so long as the purposes are not due to fraud or misrepresentation. Non-university students who leverage BSU services may also opt in. Participation is voluntary.
Appropriate access to and use of First Name and Pronouns in Use and Gender Identity is of the utmost importance and ensures respectful dialogue amongst university community members. It is important to note that when a record shows a legal name that is differently gendered from the Name in Use, then transgender identity is functionally revealed (e.g., the Name in Use is Jessica, typically used for females, but the legal name is Jason, typically male). Similarly, when legal sex is different from Gender Identity on an individual’s BSU record, then their transgender identity is revealed. In order to prevent inadvertently revealing transgender identities to personnel who do not need to know this information, access to legal name and legal sex will be limited to those who have a legitimate University operational need to know. As a way to demonstrate BSU’s respect for privacy and personal agency, as well as its prioritization of safety, only campus departments with a legitimate operational need will have access to view legal name and legal sex.
It is the position of BSU that legal name and legal sex are considered sensitive information. Therefore, University personnel will be able to view or have access to First Name in Use and Gender Identity data only, unless otherwise specified in this policy. Further, all internal and external University reports, publications, letters, and communications will reference First Name in Use and Gender Identity (when provided) instead of legal first name or legal sex data unless required by law or regulation.
IV. Access to Legal First Name and Legal Sex Information
a. University officials who have a legitimate operational need to utilize legal first name and legal sex information in order to fulfill their professional responsibilities are authorized to access it.
b. “Legitimate operational need” is defined as those instances in which access to First Name in Use or Gender Identity is required for a university official to carry out their professional responsibilities for BSU.
c. A university official is defined as a person employed by the University in an administrative, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a member of the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official in performing their essential duties.
d. The University may release legal first name and legal sex information in compliance with a judicial order or pursuant to any lawfully issued subpoena. As a general policy, before any information is so released, the University will first attempt to notify the student, employee, or alumnx at the person’s most recent address as shown in the records maintained by the University.
e. In connection with an emergency, the University may release legal first name and legal sex information from University records to appropriate persons if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student, employee, alumnx, or other persons.
f. University officials may release legal name and legal sex information to appropriate organizations in adherence with mandated federal and state reporting or in conjunction with a bona fide law enforcement investigation or inquiry.
g. Data permissions will be reviewed at least once per year and may be increased to once per semester if recommended by the Banner Technical Committee (BTC). For data access needs that change outside the scheduled review period, areas may utilize the process, stated below, to update their access permissions.
The process by which areas can request an update to their data access is to first contact the Director of the Pride Center. The Director of the Pride Center serves as the Data Steward for access permissions and will discuss the needs and possible solutions with the requestor. If the changes requested require a change to Banner codes, then the Data Steward will contact the chairperson of the BTC for subsequent review by the committee. In the event that the Data Steward cannot serve for an extended period of time, then the Vice President of the division of Student Success and Diversity will appoint an interim data steward.