SDI is committed to creating a safe and welcoming space for our trans community. As you grow and change to become your most authentic self, we want to support you to the fullest capacity. We are here to provide you and your support system with a host of resources, community, and support.
Columbia College Chicago recognizes that many members of our community use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. For many of our students, a first name is an important part of their identity.
If you enter a new first name is this field, Columbia will make every effort to ensure that this name appears in your student records wherever we are able to do so. This will include your Columbia email address, the college’s learning management system, and class rosters.
Please understand that the college is required to keep documents related to financial aid, and official academic transcripts, under your full legal name.
Please visit the MyColumbia portal to begin the process. Click on "Change My First Name" in the My Profile section of the MyColumbia tab. You will receive a notification in your portal once your request has been reviewed and processed. After you have been notified of the change, please contact Columbia Central at ColumbiaCentral@colum.edu to request a card with your updated name.
With any person you meet, in addition to asking their name, we recommend asking their preferred pronouns. Someone’s preferred pronouns are how they would like to be referenced in conversation. For example, you would ask a student their preferred pronouns, or what pronouns they use. If the student says, “I use they/them pronouns” you can solidify that in your mind the same way you would remember their name. They and them, or the less common gender neutral pronoun ze, are pretty easy to use once you understand the basics.
They/them/theirs: They are going somewhere. I have a gift for them . This jacket is Ze/hir/hirs: “ Ze is a writer and wrote that book hirself . Those ideas are hirs .” Ze/zir/zirs pronouns: “ Ze is a writer and wrote that book zirself . Those ideas are zirs .”
Pronunciation: Please note that “ze” is usually pronounced with a long “e” and that “hir” and its forms are usually pronounced like the English word “here.” Instead of ze/hir pronouns, some people go by "ze/zir" pronouns because of the more consistent pronunciation and spelling. For more information: www.mypronouns.org/how
Simply put, address any person you meet as if they may be trans. Ask their name and pronouns, and follow those regardless of what you expected. Here are some guidelines for not disrespecting trans people:
Don’t ask their “real/birth/legal name.” They will tell you if they want to share it at all (many people don’t).
Don’t ask them to categorize themselves by their sex, or assigned gender. Offer a third option (preferred) and/or allow them to choose which side they would rather identify with.
If you mistake someone’s pronouns or name, it isn’t good, but it isn’t the end of the world either. Apologize clearly, correct yourself, and move on. The person in question shouldn’t feel obligated to comfort you over your mistake.
For example: “I don’t know if she- I’m sorry, they, can make it tonight.”
The Rack, located in Student Diversity and Inclusion, is a free clothing, toiletry, and sexual health product service available to all Columbia College Chicago students. The Rack aims to provide a safe environment for students to find clothing that is affirming to them and their expression.
The Rack is not a charity, but instead is a program that names the conditions in which we are made to live create barriers to our basic needs. In providing these resources, we aim to challenge these barriers and to celebrate students claiming what they need.
Students may access The Rack during Student Diversity and Inclusion’s operating hours. There are no perquisites to access. Donations of new or gently uses clothes are always accepted.