Gender inclusion services and opportunities for students

Name and gender changes for students

Preferred name: Your preferred or chosen name is the name by which you are normally addressed and can be different than your legal first name on your UVic student record. This name can appear on class and grade lists for your courses, CourseSpaces (for online work and courses), and in some university communications.

Gender: Currently, the UVic admission application allows only two gender choices due to regulatory limitations. Your gender is recorded on your student record and may be used for matching purposes (e.g. to your Provincial Education Number, which is required for every student in British Columbia) but it is not displayed on class and grade lists or your official transcript.

Legal name and university documents: Your legal name will appear on your student record and official documents including your transcript and degree parchment (diploma).

  • Learn more about university and graduation documents, including options for Indigenous students: Name on diploma

Name changes: You may be considering a legal name change at some point. We recognize that this step involves many considerations. If you would like to look into this process further, visit the Province of BC Legal Changes of Name for more information.

Name and gender at graduation

Gender does not show on any of the documents that support graduation or the convocation ceremony (i.e. convocation list or name slips), nor is gender displayed on the official transcript. The student’s name is read out by the Dean and the student has the ability to modify their announced name either prior to convocation (see accessibility at convocation) or in the robing room prior to receiving their parchment.

The only time a student’s gender might be referenced during the ceremony is if the student is an award winner. For award winners, a citation is written about the student and read aloud during the ceremony. Award winners are notified well in advance of the ceremony, so if a student is notified that they will receive an award during the ceremony, they have the option of contacting their Dean and/or Ceremonies to discuss their pronouns. Information about how to do so is available at accessibility at convocation.

Currently, most of the steps associated with graduation (described below) use legal names. There are some options for those whose chosen name differs from their legal name. If this applies to you, we encourage you to contact accessibility at Convocation well in advance to explore options. We also have information about graduation documents, Name on diploma.

When you submit your application for graduation, you will select the name to appear on your degree parchment (diploma). The name must be your legal name but you have the option to replace your first and/or middle name with its initial, or to choose not to display your middle name at all. Please note that if you use the free-form field to write your preferred name, you will still need to submit legal name change documents. The legal name you choose for your degree parchment (diploma) will also be used on your student record and official transcript. Be aware that if you choose to use initials instead of your full first or middle name, this may cause problems with employers, post-secondary institutions, government agencies, or licencing bodies who may be reviewing these documents.

Your legal name as it appears on your student record will also be used on many documents and systems related to graduation. Documents include the university’s convocation lists, awards and Deans’ lists, and for Convocation, the procession orders, and programs distributed to the audience at the ceremonies. Systems include those for registering to attend Convocation, reserving your regalia, and issuing your guest tickets.

Convocation is a public event and is webcasted live to viewers around the world. During the ceremony, you have the choice to have your preferred name read aloud to the audience. About half an hour before the ceremony begins, the marshal will give you a card with your legal name on it. You can cross out the legal name and write the name you would like read aloud. The legal name remains on the card so that the correct degree parchment (diploma) will be given to you on the stage. 

If you want to request that we suppress your name and other details (e.g., degree, home town) from the printed Convocation program, or to review options regarding the use of your preferred or chosen name during some parts of the program such as on the marshalling list or reading slip, see accessibility at Convocation

Residences, health/counselling services and varsity sports

Residence Services

On the application to residence services, you can identify a variety of gender options (5) once inside the Portal system. If someone identifies outside of the gender binary, the housing options allow Residence Services to accommodate this easily. Should a student wish to live with a particular roommate of any gender, these requests are accommodated so long as all students individually agree to live with one another. Residences are currently designing “all gender/ gender inclusive” apartment(s) in the Cluster Housing area. These would be available on the residence application so that students seeking this type of living environment could select it themselves.

Health Services

UVic Health Services promotes a safe, inclusive, welcoming environment for gender diverse students. All staff use inclusive approaches to diversity. A number of the clinicians within the Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner and Physician groups have a special interest and expertise in gender diversity; you can ask for a clinician with this expertise when you book an appointment. All clinical staff, including Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and Physicians, welcome questions about gender at their appointments.

Intake forms

  • The intake form asks for both “sex assigned at birth” and “gender identity.” Students can also indicate their chosen name and pronouns and these will be used by staff. Intake requires a Provincial Personal Health Number and staff will record sex from a student’s medical card for Medical Services Plan billing purposes; however, they use the student’s listed gender identity, chosen name and pronouns in their ongoing interactions with the student   

Services

  • Registered Nurses are available for discussing options, way-finding and connection to resources on campus and in the community.
  • Hormone and surgical readiness assessments are available by referral from a UVic Health Services Family Physician or Nurse Practitioner. Assessments occur on site or in private offices in the community.
  • UVic Health Services Physicians can prescribe or arrange for prescription of hormone treatment for students who have completed the hormone readiness assessment.

Counselling services

Counselling Services offers free professional, confidential, inclusive support to currently registered UVic students. When students make an appointment at Counselling Services, their demographic information (e.g., name, address, birthdate) is retrieved from the UVic Banner System and becomes a part of their file. Prior to a student’s first appointment with a counsellor, and each May when records are updated, the student will be asked to complete two forms:

  1. The Counselling Services Consent Form, which relates to confidentiality and informed consent; and,
  2. The Client Information form, which gathers information about program of study, living arrangement, gender identity and pronouns, and concerns that have brought them to counselling.

With regards to gender identity, when students are completing the Client Information form, they can choose from a list (male, female, non-binary/third gender, trans, prefer to self-describe) and are welcome to check ALL that apply. There is also a place on the intake form for students to identify their pronouns, which then become a part of their counselling record. Students can also identify their preferred or chosen name and expect their counsellor and the front desk staff to use that name in their interactions with Counselling Services. All information requested on the intake form is optional. Students are not required to identify their gender identity, pronouns, or preferred name. 

Counselling Services is committed to providing inclusive and respectful services. As a team, they participate in regular training specific to working with students of diverse backgrounds. Students can take a closer look at individual counsellors, their counselling approach and how they work by visiting counsellor bios on the Counselling Services web page “Meet the Team”.

Varsity sports

Participation in varsity sports is governed by regulations of national and provincial sporting bodies. Many of our sports are covered by U SPORTS; their equity policy for transgender student athletes states that student-athletes can compete on the team that corresponds with either their sex assigned at birth or their gender identity. UVic's standard practice is to apply U SPORTS policy to all varsity sports unless there are differing or stricter policies imposed by the respective governing bodies of some sports.