Trans* At NU

Policy on Discrimination and Harassment

This policy applies to all members of Northwestern's community, and includes, but is not limited to: staff, faculty, students, applicants for both University employment and academic admission, vendors, contractors, and third parties. Northwestern University does not discriminate or permit discrimination by any member of its community against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, parental status, marital status, age, disability, citizenship, veteran status, or genetic information in matters of admissions, employment, housing, or services or in the educational programs or activities it operates. Harassment, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based on any of these characteristics is a form of discrimination. This includes harassing conduct affecting tangible job benefits, interfering unreasonably with an individual's academic or work performance, or creating what a reasonable person would perceive is an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment. Prohibited sex discrimination includes sexual harassment and sexual violence.

Title IX Statement

It is the policy of Northwestern University to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination (including sexual harassment and sexual violence) based on sex in the University's educational programs and activities. Title IX also prohibits retaliation for asserting claims of sex discrimination. Northwestern has designated Title IX Coordinators, listed under "Where to Get Advice and Help," to coordinate Northwestern's compliance with and response to inquiries concerning Title IX. A person may also file a written complaint with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights regarding an alleged violation of Title IX by visiting or calling 1-800-421-3481. If you believe you have been discriminated against or harassed:Contact one of the individuals listed under “Where to get Advice and Help.”

Bias Incident Response Team and Respect NU

The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) is a group of administrators who are committed to creating a proactive response to instances of hate and bias. When a student reports a bias/hate incident through Respect NU one of the BIRT members will support the student, connect them with the appropriate resources, and follow-up with them until the situation has been resolved.  Report a bias incident.

Gender Open Housing

Gender Open Housing refers to an arrangement whereby students, regardless of sex, gender, or gender identity, are permitted to share a room or suite in select areas of Northwestern’s residence halls. The primary reason for such a policy is to provide housing options that take into consideration varying identities and preferences, and to ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all students. Open Housing is not intended − and in fact is highly discouraged − for romantic couples.  Gender Open Housing FAQ

Gender Open Restrooms

Gender Open Restroom map in construction

Personal Identification Change at NU

Current Student (except NU Law and SCS students; see below)

Policy University policy states that a student's name in the student database must be identical to the name on his or her Social Security card. The Office of the Registrar will process a request for name change for students who are US citizens or permanent residents and who provide the appropriate documentation. Students who hold an F1 or J1 visa must contact the International Office to request a name change. Filing Steps Present the following information to the Office of the Registrar:

  • Application for Change of Name (available at the Office of the Registrar)
  • Original Social Security card with new name
  • Copy of legal documentation confirming legal name change
  • Picture identification Once this documentation has been presented at the Office of the Registrar, please allow a minimum of 48 hours for the change to take effect.

Current Student, NU Law and SCS

University policy states that a student's name in the student database must be identical to the name on his or her Social Security card. NU Law and SCS students who are US citizens or permanent residents must contact their school registrar to request a name change: Northwestern University School of Law, Registration and Records Northwestern University, School of Continuing Studies, Office of the Registrar NU Law and SCS students who hold an F1 or J1 visa must contact the International Office to request a name change.

Former Students

The name under which you were enrolled must remain on your transcript, unless you re-enroll. Your official name at the time you left will always appear on your transcript

Preferred Name

Current students (except for those in the Kellogg School of Management) can indicate a “preferred” first name, which is a name the student wishes to be commonly known as, if different from his or her legal first name. A student may change his or her preferred first and/or middle names using CAESAR. The student's preferred name will only be seen on Class Rosters, Grade Rosters, Course Management System (Blackboard), and the Online Directory.

Please note: the “primary” name will continue to be the student's legal name and will continue to appear on transcript, the Wildcard, and any documentation involving financial aid or student accounts. Students must continue to use their primary names when conducting official University business. In addition, indicating a preferred name will not change a student's e-mail address that appears in the NU Online Directory. It is important to know that the primary name can only be changed by visiting the Office of the Registrar and requesting a formal name change (see above).

Trans/Gender Affirming Name Change Mobilization (not affiliated with NU or the LGBT Resource Center)

 The last Friday of every month

 The Daley Center – Room 1202

50 W. Washington

9:00am – 3:00pm

Phone/text: 773-272-1822

During the Name Change Mobilization. Attorney and trained volunteers help transgender and gender non-conforming folks file petitions to change their names legally at the Daley Center in downtown Chicago FOR FREE.  Volunteers then provide follow-up support services to accompany folks to their court dates and to help them navigate the subsequent name change processes at the Department of Motor Vehicles, Social Security Office, Department of Vital Records, etc.

Creating Inclusive Classrooms & Group Spaces for Trans* Individuals

Faculty, staff, teaching assistants, and leaders in dialogues are all responsible for creating welcoming and inclusive environments in the classroom. This guide aims to aid individuals who wish to set-up affirming environments. Download the guild here: Creating Inclusive Classrooms & Group Spaces.