In accordance with Oregon Senate Bill 473, Southern Oregon University has updated the collection of demographic information to include legal sex designation, gender, and sexual orientation on several of our forms.

*The following information is not used in admission or hiring decisions.

Why Are We Collecting this Information?

  • Legal sex designation*: Southern Oregon University is required to collect this data in order to comply with federal reporting obligations that are linked to the granting of federal financial aid. If you are an employee or federal aid recipient your designation must match your sex designation with the Social Security office.

  • Gender*: We ask about gender identity/expression to provide individuals the opportunity to disclose this aspect of their identity and be seen in the ways that they choose. We recognize that gender is not limited to, nor always congruent with legal sex.  Although we provide this option as a means to comply with Senate Bill 473, disclosing your gender identity is up to your discretion.

  • Sexual orientation*: We provide opportunities for individuals to know disclose sexual orientation as they do with other demographic information such as race, sex, and first generation status. Collecting sexual orientation information allows Southern Oregon University and the state of Oregon to analyze important information related to retention, persistence, and graduation rates for specific communities of students. This information enables us to advocate for resources, scholarships and enhanced services as SOU.

*These categories were designated by the State of Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC).


Responses to the sexual orientation question may include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Asexual
  2. Bisexual
  3. Gay
  4. Heterosexual/Straight
  5. Lesbian
  6. Pansexual
  7. Queer
  8. Questioning/Unsure
  9. Same-Gender Loving
  10. Identity or Identities not listed _________________________ (Please specify.)
  11. Prefer not to answer

Responses to the gender and gender identity question may include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Agender
  2. Genderqueer
  3. Man
  4. Non-binary, including gender fluid, gender nonconforming, etc.
  5. Transgender
  6. Trans man
  7. Trans woman
  8. Woman
  9. Questioning or unsure
  10. Identity or identities not listed ___________________________ (Please specify.)
  11. Prefer not to answer

Who has access to the information?

We know that disclosing identities in these categories may be a source of anxiety and could invoke a question of trust; that is why we will work to limit who has access to this information. Your name connected to your response to these questions will only be accessible to the Director of Diversity and Inclusion, the Coordinator of the Queer Resource Center, the Associate Director of Student Life for Social Justice and Service as well as limited staff who work with data collection at SOU. Your individual responses will not be shared with general programs across the university, although aggregate data (collective percentages and totals) may be shared with administrative departments at the institution.

Additionally, pursuant to OAR 715-015-0005, Southern Oregon University is required to report this data to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Office of Research. Should personally identifiable information be requested by the HECC, SOU would seek legal recourse in order to protect the individual information in accordance with FERPA guidelines. 

How will this information be used?

The Queer Resource Center Coordinator, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and Associate Director of Student Life for Social Justice and Service may use this data, to assess student access, achievement, and success. Additionally these entities may share additional resources and opportunities for those who have been marginalized in these categories.