Roll over Jordan Peterson.
Students enrolled at Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM) are now entitled to compel their professors to call them by new first names.
These would differ from their legal names as would appear on their birth certificates and study permits. The institution published an official notice for the policy which takes effect January 4, 2019.
In a statement sent to students and personnel, the Vice-Rector for Student Life Danielle Laberge stated the policy aims to be neutral and inclusive.
Not only for trans students
Management desires to better reflect the realities of certain people and “facilitate their journey and their interactions within the university community”. Any one of the university’s 35,000 students can benefit from this option.
The process for alternate identification starts with a request; the form is available on a page of the university’s website which translates to “My First Name, My Choice”.
Requests must be made in good faith, and a new name may not lend itself to ridicule or be demeaning. UQAM reserves the right to approve or decline the chosen name.
It will not appear on official transcripts, attestations, or diplomas.
The process is also free.
Response to LGBT advocacy groups
According to La Presse, UQAM adopted this policy in response to demands by groups which promote sexual diversity.
Having contributed to this project, La Réclame – Groupe LGBTQIA+ celebrated the new policy. It claims to have been in negotiations for years with student groups at the university.
Roxane Nadeau, a spokeswoman for La Réclame, specified that the group’s president Sophie Charron had been meeting with the university’s administration over a period of two to three years.
On a Facebook post earlier today, the registered advocacy group thanked its members and many other lobby groups for their contribution in what is considered to be “a good step forward” in the social acceptance of “non-binary” people.
Nadeau boasted earlier today “It’s really us who brought up the issue; we explained the traps to avoid”.
UQAM made headlines earlier this year after an anonymous militant group distributed leaflets in an effort to convince professors to adopt gender-neutral pronouns.