ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — All schools in the State University of New York (SUNY) system must now abide by a student’s chosen name and pronouns, the SUNY Board of Trustees decided last week. The move is meant to better reflect and embrace the identities of trans and gender-nonconforming students attending these institutions.

All operational systems must reflect chosen names and pronouns in any instance a student requests, so long as it is consistent with federal law. This will affect names displayed in campus portals, class rosters, email addresses, and more. Students also have the option of choosing “X” in addition to “M” and “F” to mark their gender when asked by their college.

“An inclusive chosen name and pronoun policy doesn’t only help students feel safer on campus—it is also a matter of respect,” reads a statement from Deborah F. Stanley, the Interim SUNY Chancellor. “To those students and families who are seeing an unprecedented effort to roll back LGBTQIA+ rights and opportunities in other states, we want you to know that New York State and SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities intend only to move forward.”

The move comes as part of SUNY’s goal—set in 2015—of becoming the country’s most inclusive state university system. Any technological or operational upgrades necessary to implement the new policies must be finished by the end of this calendar year. Compliance with chosen name policies must be reached by the start of the fall 2023 semester.

One in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum, and over 95% of state residents live within 30 miles of a SUNY school. SUNY is the largest comprehensive higher education system in the U.S., serving about 1.3 million students in credit-bearing courses, continuing education, and community outreach programs.