Trans Protections and Title IX
Grand Valley State University is committed to providing equitable protections to transgender students, faculty, and staff. Gender identity and gender expression are protected under university policies including the GVSU Board of Trustees policies and Sex and Gender Based Harassment policy. Harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender identity and/or gender expression will continue to be protected and investigated by the university's Title IX office.
National Center for Transgender Equality: FAQ on the Withdrawal of Federal Guidance on Transgender Students
Preferred or Use Name
For more information on ways that you can change your name at GVSU please visit our Preferred or Use Name page.
Name & Gender Markers
How do I change my name on my Social Security card?
Getting a new social security card (a resource from the National Center for Transgender Equality)
This guide addresses how to get a new social security card and related topics including health insurance, identity match concerns, social security benefits, and marriage.
How do I change my name in the state of Michigan?
How to Begin
To start a proceeding to change your name, the name of your child, or your family's last name, you (the petitioner) must complete the Petition to Change Name, form PC 51, and file it with the circuit court in the county where you live. The cost of filing your petition is $150.00. Additional fees may apply, depending on the county. Some counties have specific instructions for filing in their courts. For a local example, Ottawa County has an online form with detailed instructions for name change. GVSU's Allendale campus is in Ottawa County and students who live on campus or nearby can be eligible as student residents of the county. The cost of filing a petition in Ottawa County is $175.00, plus additional fees for copies of the court order following your court date.
To change the name of an adult, a minor, or the name of a family, you (the petitioner)
1. Must be a resident of the county for at least one year.
2. Your petition must explain the reasons for your request and that the name change is not being sought with a fraudulent intent.
If you have a criminal record, you are presumed to be seeking a name change with fraudulent intent and the change will not be ordered unless you can prove that your request is not for fraudulent purposes.
NOTE: If you have student loans, you must include a notice of your legal name change to the creditor. This can be done in tandem with the required public notice.
How do I change the gender on my Michigan birth record?
You will need to provide:
1. A completed application to change a Michigan birth record.
2. Michigan Vital Record Division's medical affidavit, completed by the physician that performed the surgery procedure(s), certifying that an individual has had "appropriate surgical procedures completed for gender transition." The affidavit must be notarized.
Note: If you want to also change your first and middle name as a result of surgery, the physician should designate the changed name on the affidavit. If the physician does not designate the name to be changed at the time you submit the application, it can be done by court order.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and Selective Service
Male to Female (MTF)
Regardless of current legal sex status, all people designated male at birth must register with the selective service within 30 days of their 18th birthday. You can register for the selective service through the secretary of state website or there is a selective service registration option on the FAFSA form. If you do not register for the selective service within 30 days of your 18th birthday, you are not eligible for federal student financial aid. Due to the current transgender-exclusionary policies, they can still fill out a request for status information letter. This request form includes a specific section marked "transsexual" and requires a copy of your birth certificate indicating birth-assigned sex as well as additional documentation indicating transition (medical or legal documentation).
Female to Male (FTM)
For students who are assigned female at birth who change their legal sex to male before their 26th birthday, they are able to register for Selective Service after their 18th birthday or they will be asked to prove that they are exempt with a status information letter. A status letter can be obtained by filling out a request form through the selective service website. Students 26 years old or older who are legally male who have not registered with the selective service can still fill out a request for status information letter. This request form includes a specific section marked "transsexual" and requires a copy of your birth certificate indicating birth-assigned sex as well as additional documentation indicating transition (medical or legal documentation).
For additional information about transgender people and the selective service, visit the National Center for Transgender Equality's resource: Selective Service and Transgender People.
GVSU Athletic Department's Policy on Transgender Student-Athletes
"A transgender student athlete will be allowed to participate in any varsity sports activity so long as that athlete’s use of hormone therapy, if any, is consistent with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) existing policies on banned substances. Specifically, a transgender student-athlete will be allowed to participate in varsity sports activities..."
Transgender Student-Athlete Policy
An ADA accessible, gender-inclusive locker room can be found in the Fieldhouse on the lower level near the ramp to Lot E.
As part of the NCAA, GVSU abides by their policies including the NCAA Inclusion of Transgender Student-Athletes.
"The purpose of this resource is to provide guidance to NCAA athletic programs about how to ensure transgender student-athletes fair, respectful, and legal access to collegiate sports teams based on current medical and legal knowledge."