A purple background with white text and outlines of white gears connecting to each other.
Navigating Campus

Name Change

 

How do I legally change my name in Iowa?

Students who are seeking assistance with understanding the process of legally changing their name can contact Student Legal Services.

For additional information about the process of legally changing your name in Iowa, see the following guide: "Iowa Guide to Changing Legal Identity Documents" (PDF)

 

How can I update my student records once I legally change my name?

The policy for updating one's student records after a legal name change can be found on the Office of the Registrar's website. You will be asked to provide two forms of ID with your updated legal name.

After you have updated your name with the Registrar, you will need to update the name on your ISUCard. If you bring your old ISUCard, you will not be charged for a new card.


Gender Marker Change

 

How do I change the gender marker on my Iowa State student record?

The Office of the Registrar will process a gender marker change without requiring any medical and/or legal documentation. However, the Registrar requires that students request a change of a gender marker in writing.

For more information about this process, including the staff that students should contact, please refer to the Office of the Registrar’s website, under the section “Gender Marker Change Policy (when legal documentation doesn't exist)”.

 

How do I change the gender marker on my Iowa driver's license, U.S. passport, and other identity documents?

Students who are seeking assistance with understanding the process of changing the gender marker on their state and federal identity documents can contact Student Legal Services.

For information about the process of changing your gender marker on state and federal identity documents, see the following guide: "Iowa Guide to Changing Legal Identity Documents" (PDF)

LGBTQIA+ & Gender-Inclusive Housing
 

Frequent Housing Questions


Does Iowa State have any gender-inclusive or "gender-neutral" housing options?

Yes! Iowa State does offer gender-inclusive housing options. The Spectrum Theme House is a gender-inclusive residence community for students interested in building an intentional, supportive space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual and ally people. Located in a traditional style residence hall, students in this residence community may live with a roommate of any gender. For more information about this option, see the Spectrum Theme House website.

Additionally, there are some suite-style and apartment-style housing options which allow people of different genders to live together. For more information about housing options at Iowa State, see the Department of Residence's website.
 

Does Iowa State have housing options specifically for trans or gender non-conforming students? Where do these students live on campus?

There are many options for trans and gender non-conforming students seeking housing at Iowa State, and the needs of trans students may vary. Department of Residence staff works with students to find housing situations where they will be comfortable.

 

We recommend that any student with questions or concerns about housing related to gender identity or expression contact Lisa Ludovico. Lisa coordinates all housing assignments and she will likely have suggestions for how to place a student where they will be happiest.

 

Leah Weeks
2419 Friley
housing@iastate.edu
515-294-2900
  

 

 I'm transitioning and I do not want to live in an "all male" or "all female" house anymore, what should I do?

 

If you are already living on campus and no longer feel your housing assignment is a good fit with your gender identity or expression, we recommend you contact your hall director. Your hall director can assist you with finding a living situation that is a better fit.

 

If you are not yet living on campus but have concerns about where you have been assigned to live, we recommend that you contact Lisa Ludovico. Lisa coordinates all housing assignments and she can tell you what your options are for finding a different living situation.

 

Leah Weeks
2419 Friley
housing@iastate.edu
515-294-2900

 

I'm nervous about being randomly assigned to a roommate who is hostile towards trans or gender non-conforming people, what should I do?

 

We recommend that any student with questions or concerns about housing related to gender identity or expression contact Lisa Ludovico. Lisa coordinates all housing assignments and she may be able to assist you in finding roommates who will be a good fit.

 

Leah Weeks
2419 Friley
housing@iastate.edu
515-294-2900

 

I want to come out to my roommate(s), but I'm afraid of what might happen if I do, is there anyone who can help me with this?

 

Yes! We recommend start by telling your CA or hall director what is going on. CAs and hall directors have lots of experience handling roommate dialogues and they may be able to mediate a discussion or suggest ways to approach this conversation.

 

If your living situation becomes uncomfortable after coming out, your CA or hall director will be able to assist you. If you ever feel unsafe in your living situation, reach out to your CA or hall director right away.

 

If you live off-campus, contact the Center or Student Assistance with any questions or concerns about your housing and/or roommate situation. If you live on- or off-campus, either of these offices are happy to assist students considering coming out to roommates. 

The Iowa State University All-Gender Restrooms Map (powered by the MyState App: Android | iOS | Web Map) provides a list and visual layout of gender-inclusive restrooms across campus. An all-gender restroom is defined as a single stall, lockable restroom, open to the public, with signage that indicates that anyone may use that restroom, regardless of gender. A list of all-gender restrooms on campus which are not open to the public or are in remote locations will be provided on this website in the future.

The All-Gender Restrooms Map at Iowa State University is always evolving and Center staff welcome feedback, edits, and additions. Please contact staff to provide feedback at isutransguide@iastate.edu.

 

Adding Restrooms

Have you found an all-gender restroom that isn't on the map? Complete this form to notify Center Staff.

In the Classroom: Classes and Communicating with Your Professors


Do I have to come out to my professors as trans or gender non-conforming?

No. Students are never required to come out to professors (or anyone else). However, you may want to inform your professors, particularly if you want them to refer to you by your name and pronouns in class. See below for tips on how to come out to professors.

If you want to talk about coming out to professors or others, you can contact Center staff for assistance.
 

What are some tips for coming out to my professors as trans or gender non-conforming?

If you want to come out to your professors, you can do it in whatever way makes you most comfortable, be it in-person at their office hours, in an email, etc.

Many students find emailing a professor the week before classes start to be a preferable way to come out. If you are going to email your professor, here are some tips for how to do that.

 

Tips and Sample Email to a Professor or TA:
 

  • List the course name and what section (days and time) you are in (i.e. ASHME 321, 2:30-3:20 MWF). Professors often teach many classes at once, so this will help them identify which class roster you are talking about.
     
  • State your legal name.
     
  • State your preferred name.
     
  • State the pronouns you would like them to call you by in class. (“I would appreciate it if you called me by she, her, and hers pronouns in class” or “The pronouns I use are they, them, and theirs, and this is how I would like you to refer to me in class.”)
     
  • Clarify if there are any situations when you do not want to be called by your preferred name and pronouns. (“I would like to be called [preferred name] and referred to with he, him, and his pronouns in class, but please refer to me by [legal name] and she, her, and hers pronouns outside of class because I am not out as trans everywhere.”)
     
  • Provide them with your contact information.
     
  • Provide links to resources on the Center website if they have questions about supporting trans students. (This is a nice thing for you to do, but certainly not required.)
     
  • Thank them for being understanding.

 

Sample Email to a Professor:

Dear Professor [last name of professor]

My name is [your preferred name], and I will be attending your [name of course] class on [days] at [time] this semester. I am contacting you to let you know that my name will show up on your roster as [legal name], but I would prefer to go by [preferred name]. I am transgender and do not identify with my legal name. I will be putting [preferred name] on my assignments and would appreciate it if you called me by this name and use the pronouns [the pronouns you use] to refer to me in class.

If you have questions about this change to your roster, you can ask me directly at my email address here: [your email address]. For more information about preferred names, pronouns, and transgender identities, you can visit the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success website or contact their staff.

Thank you very much for your understanding. I’m looking forward to starting your class next week.

Sincerely,

[Preferred name]

Health & Wellness

More information forthcoming!

On-Campus Resources

 

Where can I go to talk to a counselor?

The staff at Student Counseling Services (SCS) are committed to being an affirming place for trans and gender non-conforming students. They know that trans people face many challenges and barriers in society, and the transitioning process can be a time of excitement, difficulty, and stress. Many of their counselors have experience providing support and counseling to trans and transitioning students. Their services are confidential and free for all Iowa State students.
 

Can I get letters for starting hormones and other kinds of medical transition from SCS?

SCS counselors have provided letters to begin medical transition many times. Their counselors are familiar with the WPATH Standards of Care guidelines on this process. Student clients work with their counselor over a period of time to provide information that allows the counselor to write a letter reflecting their professional assessment as well as the client’s goals. This process will be a little different for everyone, as it is something the student client and the counselor work on together.
 

Is counseling at SCS confidential?

Yes. SCS professionals are bound to confidentially by state and federal law and professional codes of ethics. They do not share any information with others (e.g. university offices, parents, family members) without your written permission. Extremely rare exceptions include if there is imminent risk of harm to self or others or court orders for information.
 

How do I get started at SCS?

Come on in to Student Counseling Service during walk-in hours (see website for details: http://www.counseling.iastate.edu/). Please save 90 minutes for the entire process. Go to the reception desk located on the third floor of the Student Services building and tell the receptionist you would like a first appointment. You will be asked to give your legal name, birthdate, ISU student ID number, email address, and phone number and then you will be asked to complete some electronic paperwork that will include a broad range of questions about your experiences and concerns. On the electronic paperwork, you are welcome to mention your trans identity and/or transitioning needs or concerns in the “presenting concerns” comment box. The paperwork usually takes about 15 minutes.

Then a counselor will meet with you to discuss your needs and concerns. Together, you will create a plan for which services will be best for you. If individual counseling at SCS is recommended, a counselor will be assigned to you for ongoing counseling.
 

How can I communicate my gender identity, my pronouns, and/or my name (other than a legal name) to SCS staff?

If you feel comfortable doing so, you are welcome to note the pronouns you use and a preferred first name either in the first section of the electronic paperwork and/or when you meet with a counselor.

There is also a question on the electronic paperwork which asks you to choose your gender from a dropdown menu from which you can select woman, man, transgender, or self-identify.  You may write in an answer next to the self-identify option if you choose. 

All information you share on SCS paperwork is confidential.
 

What if I have concerns about telling my legal name to the SCS front desk staff or having my legal name called in the waiting room?

You do not need to say your legal name out loud to front desk staff, you may present them with your student ID and they will get you started with the paperwork process.

Although you will need to include your legal name when filling out the electronic paperwork, there is a spot for students to type in their preferred name and pronouns. The counselor meeting with you will use the preferred name you have entered when calling for you in the waiting room. 

 

Are there any options for trans-affirming mental health care outside of the university?

If you would prefer to see a counselor in the local community rather than at Student Counseling Services, we still recommend that you start with an initial appointment with SCS. Their staff is the most knowledgeable about therapists in the area, and they will be able to help refer you.

To learn more about mental health providers in the local area, please see SCS’s Tips for Scheduling an Appointment with a Community Provider and the Community Therapy Referral Guide.

Are health care services related to medical transition, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or gender confirmation surgeries, covered under Iowa State’s Student and Scholar Insurance Plan (SSHIP)?

Coverage for health care services related to medical transition have been expanded under SSHIP, but students will need to consult with Wellmark to determine what is covered and to what extent. Coverage may change depending on in-network and out-of-network providers, specific prescriptions, etc. See the Health Coverage Manual for more information on coverage (esp. pages 30 and 69-70).

To find out more information about what is covered under your plan, please call Wellmark customer service at 1-800-694-4110.  Please make sure to have your Wellmark ID available at the time of the call.

If you have any challenges in this process, please contact the SSHIP office. Center staff would also be happy to consult about these matters.

 

How can I determine what is covered if I am considering SSHIP but not enrolled?

To learn more about SHIPP before you enroll, see the SSHIP website. If you have questions about the plan, call the ISU SSHIP customer service number at Wellmark at 1-800-694-4110. Please indicate that you are currently a student at ISU and are considering electing the ISU SSHIP plan for coverage.  This will let the customer service associate know which plan to reference to best assist with any questions.

 

How can I determine what is covered and what is not once I am enrolled in SSHIP?

To find out more information about what is covered under your plan, please call Wellmark customer service at 1-800-694-4110.  Please make sure to have your Wellmark ID available at the time of the call. 
 

Can I sign up for SSHIP outside of the open enrollment period?

No, unless you have a qualifying event. Please refer to the SSHIP website for a list of qualifying events.

 

Who can I contact if I have questions about SSHIP?

For all questions or concerns related to the Iowa State Student and Scholar Insurance Plan, contact: http://sship.hr.iastate.edu/contact-us.

Campus Resources

 

Frequently Asked Questions


Does Iowa State have gender-inclusive or "gender-neutral" restrooms?

Yes. See our map of gender-inclusive restrooms. Any student who desires increased privacy when using restroom facilities may use these restrooms.

 

If I am trans or gender non-conforming, what restrooms can I use on campus?

Students may either use the restroom that aligns with their gender identity or with their sex assigned at birth. Students may use whichever restroom they feel most safe and comfortable using. Gender-inclusive restrooms are one of the many restroom options available to all students on campus.

 

What about gender-inclusive locker rooms or private changing areas in gym facilities on campus?

State Gym has gender-inclusive changing rooms (rooms 1223A and 1223B on the first floor) which consist of a single stall restroom with a lock on the door, a shower, and ample space for changing. State Gym also has single changing stalls with locks on the doors in the women's locker room.

Just like restrooms, students may either use the locker room/changing room that aligns with their gender identity or with their sex assigned at birth. We encourage students to use the locker rooms/changing rooms where they feel the most safe and comfortable.

More information forthcoming!

New Students

Applying to Iowa State

 

Does the gender I put on the application for admission to Iowa State University impact if I am admitted or not?

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of gender identity, and the gender you designate on your admission application is not factored into the admission decision.

All interested prospective students who meet Iowa State University’s admission requirements [http://www.admissions.iastate.edu/] are encouraged to apply for admission.

 

What if I have already submitted my application but I want to change or update my gender or name on the application?

If you’ve already submitted your admission application and you wish to request that your gender marker or name be updated or changed, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@iastate.edu or 515-294-5836


What if I'm not sure how to fill out the gender question on the application for admission? Or what if I have a question about the application that is not listed on Trans@ISU?

If you have questions or concerns about gender identity as it relates to the admission process, contact Katharine Johnson Suski, Director of Admissions, at ksuski@iastate.edu or 515-294-5836.  Katharine is happy to answer questions and assist prospective students navigating this process.

Coming Out

Do I have to come out to my professors as trans or gender non-conforming?

No. Students are never required to come out to professors (or anyone else). However, you may want to inform your professors, particularly if you want them to refer to you by your name and pronouns in class. See below for tips on how to come out to professors.

If you want to talk about coming out to professors or others, you can contact Center staff for assistance.
 

What are some tips for coming out to my professors as trans or gender non-conforming?

If you want to come out to your professors, you can do it in whatever way makes you most comfortable, be it in-person at their office hours, in an email, etc.

Many students find emailing a professor the week before classes start to be a preferable way to come out. If you are going to email your professor, here are some tips for how to do that.

 

Tips and Sample Email to a Professor or TA:
 

  • List the course name and what section (days and time) you are in (i.e. ASHME 321, 2:30-3:20 MWF). Professors often teach many classes at once, so this will help them identify which class roster you are talking about.
     
  • State your legal name.
     
  • State your preferred name.
     
  • State the pronouns you would like them to call you by in class. (“I would appreciate it if you called me by she, her, and hers pronouns in class” or “The pronouns I use are they, them, and theirs, and this is how I would like you to refer to me in class.”)
     
  • Clarify if there are any situations when you do not want to be called by your preferred name and pronouns. (“I would like to be called [preferred name] and referred to with he, him, and his pronouns in class, but please refer to me by [legal name] and she, her, and hers pronouns outside of class because I am not out as trans everywhere.”)
     
  • Provide them with your contact information.
     
  • Provide links to resources on the Center website if they have questions about supporting trans students. (This is a nice thing for you to do, but certainly not required.)
     
  • Thank them for being understanding.

 

Sample Email to a Professor:
 

Dear Professor [last name of professor]

My name is [your preferred name], and I will be attending your [name of course] class on [days] at [time] this semester. I am contacting you to let you know that my name will show up on your roster as [legal name], but I would prefer to go by [preferred name]. I am transgender and do not identify with my legal name. I will be putting [preferred name] on my assignments and would appreciate it if you called me by this name and use the pronouns [the pronouns you use] to refer to me in class.

If you have questions about this change to your roster, you can ask me directly at my email address here: [your email address]. For more information about preferred names, pronouns, and transgender identities, you can visit the Center for LGBTQIA+ Student Success website or contact their staff.

Thank you very much for your understanding. I’m looking forward to starting your class next week.

Sincerely,

[Preferred name]

Research & Scholarship

Campus and across Iowa

 

National

 

International