The Gatepost Editorial: Speak up - it’s worth it
By The Gatepost Editorial Board
During SGA’s Jan. 17 meeting, SGA President Dara Barros announced Residence Life will be removing names from the Residence Halls’ dorm closing documents.
This document is used by Residence Life when students go away for an extended period of time, including Thanksgiving, winter, spring, and summer breaks.
Following Thanksgiving break, SGA received a message in its Concern Box that the closing documents were deadnaming people.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “deadnaming” occurs when someone calls a person by a name they no longer use. Often, this person has changed their legal name because they are transgender.
Calling someone by their deadname can be both “stressful” and “traumatic,” according to the clinic.
Framingham State gives students the option to fill out a form on my.framingham.edu to provide their “preferred name.” Not all transgender individuals are able to legally change their name, so this option allows them the chance to inform the school of the name they go by.
Residence Life has had a system in place for students to input their preferred names for some time. However, these names were not being used on the dorm closing document.
Stephanie Crane, associate director of Residence Life, said students are given the option to provide their preferred name when filling out the housing application.
She said Residence Life needs to use legal names when it comes to the Residence Hall License Agreement and the Desk Roster, but in non-legal documents, such as personalized emails and door name tags, preferred names can be used.
Crane added Residence Life does not automatically take names from the my.framingham.edu system because some students only want to use their preferred names in the residence halls and they are able to change their preferred names in the housing application at any time.
Now, in addition to this system, students do not have to worry about their deadnames being posted on their doors for school breaks.
This is exactly how student concerns should be addressed.
Students were heard and changes were made.
The Gatepost would like to take this opportunity to thank Residence Life for listening to the concern Barros brought to them and coming up with a protocol to follow that makes the residence halls a more welcoming environment for everyone.
These are students' homes.
They deserve to feel safe and embraced in a place they will spend the majority of their college careers.
We would also like to thank Barros and SGA for taking this concern to the right people and advocating for this change to take place.
SGA meetings have always been a safe and comfortable space for students to bring issues they wish to be addressed. Additionally, the Concern Box is the perfect way to encourage more students to be open about problems at this University that bother or upset them.
This is the perfect example of why speaking up on this campus is worth it and how the community will be there to support you.
Advocating for yourself and your peers can make a major difference in your college experience.
No matter how small your concern, others may be feeling the same way.
It took one person to drop a note into the Concern Box to bring about a change that benefited and helped so many other students. In addition, all future students at FSU will not have to experience this same emotional distress because the change was made and it's here to stay.
Go to SGA meetings.
Drop a note in the Concern Box.
Talk to administrators and attend Administrators’ Forums.
Speak to your Gatepost peers or write a Letter-to-the-Editor.
We hear you.
Your concerns matter.