Gender inclusion services and opportunities for students

Name and gender changes for students

Change your personal information

You can update your personal information through Student Support Services or by completing an online form. Change your record to accurately reflect your preferred name, contact information, gender identity and/or legal name.

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 you to select from the following gender options: man, non-binary, woman, or prefer not to answer. 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) though you can choose to modify it to some degree. Learn more about university and graduation documents, including options for Indigenous students: Name on diploma

Legal 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 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 to discuss their pronouns.

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 visit the graduation & convocation page for undergraduate students or graduate students in advance to explore options. We also have information about graduation documents on that page.

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 licensing 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.

If you want to request that we suppress your name and other details (e.g., degree) 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, please contact convocation@uvic.ca.


Residences, student wellness 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. Residence Services offers mixed-gender units 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.

Student Wellness - Health and Counselling

UVic Student Wellness (Counselling, Health and Multifaith) strives to create a safe, inclusive, welcoming environment for all students on the gender spectrum.

All staff are trained in providing gender affirming care. We aim to support individuals at all points of their gender expression. All practitioners, including counsellors, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians are open and knowledgeable about supporting trans and gender non-conforming individuals. We work with TransCare BC frequently to ensure our practice standards are up to date.

 

Student Wellness offers the following services:

  • Confidential discussion and counselling surrounding gender and gender exploration
  • Support with connecting to resources on campus and in the community
  • Care planning around individual goals with gender
  • Providing hormone therapy or providing referrals as needed
  • Surgical referrals and follow-up care
  • Group programming tailored to gender diverse students
  • Non-judgemental spaces to discuss any topic

 

Health appointments

We acknowledge the harm the medical system has imposed on gender diverse individuals, both historically and presently. We aim to provide accessible, equitable, trauma-informed and evidence-based care. We are always learning and evolving.

We recognize that intake forms and accessing medical care can be triggering. We aim to make the process at the UVic Student Wellness Centre as accessible as possible in order to acknowledge you as the individual that you are.

The intake form asks for both “sex assigned at birth” and “gender identity.” There is space to indicate your chosen name and pronouns. If you consent to our staff updating this information on your chart, we can ensure we address you in the most affirming way at each interaction you have with the Student Wellness Centre. Our aim is to be transparent with our process, and intake requires a Provincial Personal Health Number and recording the “sex listed on your medical card” is only for Medical Services Plan billing purposes.

 

Counselling appointments

When students make a counselling appointment, their demographic information (e.g., name, address, birth date) 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 an intake and consent form. With regards to gender identity, students can choose from a list (man, woman, non-binary/third gender, trans, prefer to self-describe) and are welcome to check ALL that apply. There is also a place on the 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 at the Student Wellness Centre. Providing this information is optional - students are not required to identify their gender identity, pronouns, or preferred name. 

We are always receptive to feedback and open for discussion.

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.