Trans at UofSC

The Office of Multicultural Student Affairs is committed to supporting all diverse and marginalized student populations at the University of South Carolina, and we know that our transgender and gender non-conforming Carolinians may face specific challenges or barriers when it comes to having a fulfilling college experience. We know creating a campus climate that is inclusive of all gender identities and gender expressions allows all students to explore their identities and feel safe and accepted. On this page you will find a number of resources for transgender and gender non-conforming people at the University of South Carolina, as well as resources to help you to learn more about the experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people.

We use trans as an umbrella term for people who transgress or transcend our normative notions of gender. This term includes but is not limited to those who identify as transgender, transsexual, agender, bigender, genderqueer, genderfluid, two spirit, cross dressers, and gender benders.


Housing

At the University of South Carolina, students are assigned housing based on their legal sex.  Unfortunately, we do not currently have gender neutral or gender inclusive housing and often times trans students are offered the option to live in a single.  If students contact us, we can help them to navigate working with university housing and also act as an advocate for them.  For more specific information on housing, please feel free to visit their page http://www.housing.sc.edu/ .

Professor Notification

Notifying your professors of your preferred name and pronoun, and/or of your trans status/identity can be difficult. There are many ways to do this: one-on-one conversations, personal emails, and/or OMSA can notify your professors they may have a trans student in their class. Please do what works best for you in your life at this time. If you would prefer to talk to your professors one-on-one or send a personal email, we are happy to talk through that process or review your email if that would be helpful for you.

To request letters, please use the electronic form, which will allow you to indicate your preferred name and pronouns, and to list the courses and names of faculty, TAs or advisors for whom you would like a letter. By filling out the form, an email from the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs will be sent to the email addresses you provide. This email will contain NONE of your identifying information and will contain a list of best practices the professor can follow in order to make your experience in their classroom more positive.

Please note: this service is currently only available for students at the USC-Columbia campus.

Health Services

The health center offers a variety of services to make sure that trans individuals have the best and most supportive health experience possible at Carolina.

Name Changes/Pronouns. To change your name and pronoun within the electronic health record, please call the front desk staff within the General Medicine Center at 803-576-6561, or talk to your medical provider or mental health provider during your appointment.

Gynecological Care. The health center now works with students on a case by case basis to insure that their visits to receive gynecological care are as comfortable as possible. You can make an appointment by visiting www.sc.edu/myhealthspace or by calling 803-777-8920. If you have questions or need assistance or accommodations to ensure you’re comfortable during an upcoming visit, the secure messaging portal, www.sc.edu/myhealthspace, allows you to send an electronic message to the Women’s Care nursing staff, or you can call their charge nurse at 803-777-3840. Note: If you are using email or electronic messaging services do not send personal information over the web.

Student Insurance. Student Insurance will now cover some services for transgender students. Students will need to see a provider who will provide records that state they are diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, and that treatment is medically necessary. Once that process is complete student insurance will pay for Hormone Replacement Therapy, therapy sessions, medical appointments, and any other medications students may need as related to their diagnosis. The policy does not cover gender reassignment surgeries of any kind.

Mental Health and Counseling Services. You can always meet individually with a counselor or psychiatrist to speak about your mental health needs. There are trans friendly providers in addition to the Counseling & Psychiatry department having groups specifically designed for the LGBTQ community’s needs. To make an appointment or for more information about these services, please call 803-777-5223 or visit www.sa.sc.edu/shs/cp.

General Questions and Concerns about Trans Health Care. Sometimes individuals just need someone to connect with and ask questions. If you have any questions about your health care or need information about options including hormone replacement therapy or referrals, please contact the care team nurse at 803-777-0564.

These resources were derived from the health center’s trans support guide. If you would like more information on their services and support for the lgbtq community please see the guide in full at: www.sa.sc.edu/shs/lgbtqsupport.

Preferred Name

Currently, preferred names and pronouns are not available through Banner or Carolina Card.  However, students are able to change their names on Blackboard and student email. Instructions are below:

To list a preferred name in blackboard please follow these steps:

  • login to blackboard.
  • click your name on the top right part of the screen.
  • click on “Settings” then “Personal Information”
  • click on “Edit Personal Information” and change the appropriate box.
  • Your chosen name will appear once you logout.

To change your name as it appears when sending email:

  • Go to my.sc.edu and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the link that says “View Online Directory Information”
  • Once logged in you will see that the page lists your current information. Click the link that says “update form”
  • Enter your preferred name in the “preferred name” box
  • Click “update” at the bottom of the screen.

*Note: This will not change your originally assigned email address. In addition your dead name will still be listed in the directory along with your preferred name. It will however show your chosen name to those you email and will no longer reflect your dead name.

A special thanks to our Trans Student Alliance who has worked hard to help provide us with much of this information.

You can change your legal documents and school records with a legal name change. If students are interested in more information regarding legal name changes in South Carolina, this can be found through the community organization Gender Bender’s resources page: http://www.genderbenders.org/resources.html.

Restrooms

There are single stall and gender neutral restrooms available in various locations across campus including the Russell House Student Union, Patterson Hall, Thompson Health Center and Strom Wellness & Fitness Center. We are also currently advocating for additional restroom access in order to best meet the needs of all students, however, if you need more information on location, please email lgbtusc@mailbox.sc.edu.

Campus Activities

Intramurals. All students are able to participate in Intramural Sports in accordance with their own gender identity. If you have questions about how to register and play in accordance with your gender identity please contact lgtbusc@mailbox.sc.edu.

Homecoming. Activities that happen during homecoming are gender inclusive.  All students are able to participate in gendered competitions with the gender by which they identify.

Greek Life. Fraternities and sororities do not have an overarching policy on campus, which means this decision is up to each organization.  Students are more than welcome to research different organizations if they are interested in being involved.

Non-discrimination/Protection

At the University of South Carolina, gender is a protected identity.  The Student Handbook states the specific discrimination policy, which can be read here http://www.sc.edu/policies/ppm/eop104.pdf.  The Office of Diversity and Inclusion also takes any bias or hate incidents very seriously.  If a student feels they have been discriminated against or experienced a bias incident, they are welcome to contact our office and we will assist in the process of reporting, to achieve closure, rectify the situation, or help in any way necessary. For more information on reporting an incident, please visit http://sc.edu/about/offices_and_divisions/diversity_and_inclusion/report_an_incident/index.php.