The East Carolina University Club Sports program has implemented a new standard of operation concerning gender identity.

With this new standard, transgender students on campus will be able to participate in intramural and club sports with the gender they identify with.

ECU is the first public university in the state to implement a standard of this kind.

The ECU Club Sports currently services over 1,200 athletes with 39 clubs. The program partnered with the LGBT resource office to create the new standard.

There are currently five club sports that offer both a men’s and women’s team: basketball, soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, and rugby.

According to Assistant Director of Club Sports Justin Waters, a transgender student must participate as a single gender during a year. He said this is to keep students from claiming they identify as another gender just to fill an open gender specific spot on one team.

Waters also said if an ECU club sports team is playing a school that does not have a Gender Identity Inclusion standard, the student will have the right to play as a regular member of the team unless the school has a policy that prohibits it.

Waters said after attending a national conference for the last two years he realized this standard was needed.

“We didn’t have an operating procedure that covered this population of our student body so I wanted to make sure we were proactive in creating this standard operating procedure,” said Waters.

The Club Sports program has also required teams participating to agree and abide by the university’s diversity policy that “no person shall be discriminated against or refused membership based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or political affiliation.”

 

 

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