Gender Inclusion

Teaching students to respect Global Community and Diversity is one of UNE's eight Core Values. In keeping with this mission, ISE works across the institution to assess the climate for underrepresented students, including those who are transgender, gender-variant, or non-binary. Below, you will find more information on current policies and opportunities for UNE students. 

Non-Discrimination Policy

UNE's non-discrimination policy includes gender identity and expression as protected classes. If you believe you have been the target of discrimination due to your gender identity and/or expression, please contact the Office of Student Affairs or share a concern online.

Name and Demographics

Currently, at UNE, you may change your gender marker on file from 'Male' to 'Female' or vice-versa by submitting a Request to Change Gender in Banner form to the University Registrar. 

If you are interested in changing the first name on your student ID, you may do so by contacting Intercultural Student Engagement to schedule an appointment. Staff will coordinate a time with Safety and Security to have a new card printed. 

The University is currently working to update additional systems and process to provide for greater access and inclusion. Please re-visit this page for updates. 

All-Gender Restrooms

The University is committed to providing safe and accessible campus restroom facilities. We recommend that individuals make choices about restroom usage based on their own level of comfort and their gender identity or expression. We know that many transgender individuals feel safer and more comfortable using single stall restrooms. Currently, there are single stall restrooms in many campus buildings. All of these restrooms are gender-inclusive — meaning that anyone, of any gender identity — can use that restroom. If you find that one of the restrooms on our map/list or that any single-occupancy restroom on campus is labeled incorrectly, please contact us at randerson@une.edu.

RESTROOM LOCATIONS

Campus Housing

Gender-Inclusive housing is an option in University residence halls. In this housing style, any gender can share a residence hall room, and each roommate must agree to live in this arrangement. This option is best for if you identify as transgender, are changing or exploring your gender expression, or you feel most comfortable living with people of a different gender than your own. This is not recommended for romantic relationships.

If you are interested, contact the Office of Housing and Residential/Commuter Life at (207) 602-2272 for more information.

Common questions

  • Why do we need gender-inclusive restrooms at UNE?
  • A: Transgender and gender-variant people face severe access problems when it comes to accessing traditionally-gendered facilities. Everyone deserves equal access to the services we offer, and this brings UNE into compliance with state and federal guidelines.
  • Why should transgender people receive special privileges?
  • A: Being able to safely use a restroom is not a privilege — it is a right, and one guaranteed by Maine law. All-gender restrooms are for everyone, including people who aren’t transgender. This can include parents or family members of young children and persons who need a personal care attendant. There are members of the transgender community who express their gender in ways that do not appear stereotypically male or female and may be most comfortable and safe in single-occupancy restrooms.
  • Should I be concerned for my privacy or safety?
  • A: There is no reason to be concerned. Every all-gender restroom at UNE is a single-occupancy space, meaning it will typically only be used by one person at a time.
  • Don’t we already have “unisex” bathrooms on campus?
  • A: There are a few restrooms on each campus designated as such, but not all spaces are labeled as such and some are marked as only for men or women, despite being identical. Standardizing signage and language across campuses makes it easy to identify accessible spaces. A map and list of spaces will also be made available on the UNE website.
  • What if someone doesn’t look masculine or feminine enough to use a traditionally-gendered restroom?
  • There are no rules or laws about appearance as it relates to restroom use and access. Restricting access based on visible gender markers relies entirely on stereotyping and is considered to be sex discrimination. Recent guidelines from the Department of Education regarding Title IX of the Higher Education Amendment of 1972 make clear that students at all colleges and universities must be allowed to use the facilities consistent with their gender identity.
  • Which bathroom should a transgender person use if he or she hasn’t had genital surgery?
  • The details about someone’s choice to undergo surgery do not tell you anything about their gender identity or affect their right to use a certain bathroom. Asking questions about surgery is a major invasion of privacy, as it involves personal medical information. Many people choose not to have any surgery, whether because of cost, personal beliefs, or concern about surgical risks.
  • What is gender-inclusive housing?
  • Gender-inclusive housing assignments refer to a housing option in which two or more students agree to share a multiple-occupancy bedroom without regard to the gender of the occupants.
  • Why do we need gender-inclusive housing at UNE?
  • A: This housing option provides you with increased choice in selecting roommates. It gives you additional responsibility for your own room assignments and choice of roommate(s). This policy also contributes to an institutional climate supportive of everyone. This change brings UNE into compliance with state and federal guidelines.
  • Can’t students of different genders live together on campus already?
  • A: Students living in the suite-style residence halls reserved for upper-class students can share a suite with members of a different gender, but not a room. Additionally, no first-year students have access to gender-inclusive options, and this policy can help ease the transition to a new environment.
  • Which residence halls will be available for gender-inclusive housing?
  • A: Gender-inclusive rooms will be available in Featherman Hall for first-year students. Upper-class students may select a space in any of the suite-style halls to designate as gender-inclusive. Consistent with the policy, all roommates must agree to this housing option.
  • Is gender-inclusive housing only for members of the LGBTQ community?
  • A: No. This housing option is for any continuing student wishing to live in a residence hall space without a gender designation.
  • I want to share a room with my significant other. Is this a good option for me?
  • A: No. Although the University respects the privacy of individuals and will not require you to reveal your reason for requesting gender-inclusive housing, this option is not recommended for couples in romantic relationships.
  • What if parents don’t want their child to live in a gender-inclusive room?
  • A: We encourage you to maintain an open dialogue with your family so that they can be supportive of your housing decision. If you are  over the age of 18, you are legally able to make decisions about your housing contracts, including signing and amending them. If you are under 18, you should discuss housing plans with your family, as they must provide parental consent.
  • There aren’t any transgender people at UNE. Are these changes necessary?
  • A: There are, in fact, many transgender people at UNE. We cannot place a burden on them to disclose their identities to everyone just to access basic services like restrooms and housing. These changes allow the University to meet the needs of many people without forcing anyone to “out” themselves as transgender or gender-variant.
  • Why is it important for UNE to be inclusive of transgender people?
  • A: UNE’s Core Values include “Global Community and Diversity,” with emphases on embracing and learning from diversity, providing community service and civic engagement, striving for social justice and abstaining from discriminatory actions. These values extend to all members of the UNE community and help to prepare you for a diverse society and workforce.

Glossary

Transgender person: Someone whose gender identity (their inner sense of who they are) differs from the one assigned or presumed at birth. 

Cisgender person: Someone whose gender identity is the same as the one assigned or presumed at birth.

Gender Non-Conforming or Gender-Variant person: Someone who does not express their gender in ways that meet society’s expectations of gender roles.

Gender Expression: The external display of gender, through a combination of dress, demeanor, social behavior and other factors, generally measured on a scale of masculinity and femininity.

Gender Identity: The internal perception of one’s gender, and how they label themselves, based on how much they align or don’t align with what they understand their options for gender to be. Common identity labels include man, woman, genderqueer, trans and more.