University Park, PA – The University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) at Penn State has taken a significant step forward to support transgender students with a unanimous vote to provide financial assistance for name change vouchers. The bill was passed on Wednesday night, aiming to create a more inclusive and safe environment for all transgender students at Penn State.
Transgender students at Penn State who want to legally change their names for reasons other than divorce have to pay a hefty fee, ranging from $150 to $250. This financial barrier can be demoralizing and can prevent students from accessing a name change through Penn State’s Student Legal Service, thereby hindering them from actualizing their identity.
With this legislation, UPUA plans to fund vouchers to help students change their legal names through Penn State’s Office of Student Legal Services. The UPUA charges the Department of Public Relations to disseminate the information and collaborate with the Office of Student Legal Services in future awareness campaigns regarding the vouchers.
“This could mean a transgender student is prevented from changing their name to better actualize their identity,” said the bill, highlighting the impact of such barriers on students. The UPUA’s allocation of $3,000 for name change vouchers will make a positive difference in the lives of students who wish to legally change their names but face financial barriers.
The bill also affirmed the UPUA’s support for the transgender community and its efforts to create a safe and inclusive environment for all students at Penn State. With this landmark decision, UPUA has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring that all students can fully express themselves and succeed academically and personally.