Student Government Sets Aside Thousands Of Dollars To Fund Transgender Name Changes

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Alexa Schwerha Contributor
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Pennsylvania State University (PSU) student leaders voted on Wednesday to set aside $3,000 for transgender students to legally change their names, the student newspaper Daily Collegian reported.

The University Park Undergraduate Association (UPUA) unanimously agreed to cover the costs for students who want to change their legal name through the university’s Student Legal Service department, the Collegian reported. Students can receive a voucher to cover the costs associated with the service which can reportedly amount between $150 and $200 when a name is changed for reasons other than divorce. (RELATED: Major University Trained Students On How To Be Trans ‘Allies’ Using A ‘Gender Unicorn’)

The allocated $3,000 will fund 12 name-change vouchers, according to UPUA’s Twitter.

Student fees, which are “used to better student life at University Park,” are partly allocated to UPUA, according to a breakdown of its spending. The fee totals $274.74 for the 2022-2023 academic year, and $1.47 is allocated for UPUA use and $5.12 is put towards Student Legal Services.

The bill was passed to increase “support for the transgender community” and “create a safe and inclusive environment” for transgender students at PSU, the Collegian reported. It sought to alleviate financial barriers that may prevent transgender students from legally changing their name and to help them “better actualize their identity.”

“The UPUA hereby charges the Department of Public Relations to disseminate this information through all proper channels and collaborate with the Office of Student Legal Services in future awareness campaigns regarding the vouchers,” the bill reportedly reads.

UPUA passed similar legislation in 2021 and allocated $5,000 toward name-change vouchers, according to the student-run blog Onward State.

The voucher program started more than two years ago to provide financial assistance to any student who wants to change their name,” Kelly Mroz, Student Legal Services director, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Students have received vouchers and obtained name changes for a variety of reasons, including conforming their name to better match their gender identity, taking a stepparent’s last name, resuming a prior surname, or for safety reasons. Voucher funds are administered by Penn State Student Legal Services and costs and fees are paid directly to the court, not the student.”

UPUA did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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