DAVIS (CBS13) — A new policy at UC Davis will allow transgender and international college students to put the name they traditionally go by on their school ID.
Alek Ortega’s ID card currently says Angela Ortega, his legal birth name.
“I go by Alek because it’s the name I identify with, and I identify with male pronouns,” he said.
But soon the transgender student will be able to change the name on his ID card to Alek, as well as getting it into the school’s system for things like library checkouts and class rosters.
“It’s really triggering, being addressed as a name that you don’t identify with anymore, especially because I’ve been living as a man for three years now,” he said.
It’s UC Davis’ new preferred name policy. It started with library staffer Amy Kautzman getting requests from students.
“We tried to resolve the issue by putting the name into the database that we had within the library, but it was impossible to make it stick,” she said.
She worked with UC Davis administrators for two years on the police, which includes new sensitivity guidelines for campus police on how they handle interactions with transgender students.
“In such a case, the police officer will take that student aside and have a private conversation that’s respectful,” she said.
And it’s not just for transgender students. Kautzman says international students who have a nickname they prefer to go by are also excited about the new policy.
Ortega just learned about the changes on Tuesday, and says it’s a step forward for the transgender community.
“It’s pretty cool. It’s pretty amazing,” he said. “I mean, it makes me feel really comfortable now.”
Existing students who change their name can get new cards at no cost. All legal records with the school will still use the students’ legal name.