Guidelines: Legal and Chosen/Preferred Name Usage



Using a person's preferred/chosen name shows respect. Honoring a student’s preferred name contributes to the College’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion as stated in the College’s Mission. It is our goal to provide an empowering, safe, and non-discriminatory educational environment. A name is an extremely important part of a person’s identity. Using the wrong name can cause unintentional harm to a person by devaluing their identity and personal autonomy. Many names and pronouns are gendered in their use. Using a preferred name that matches a person’s gender identity helps prevent that person from being the subject of invasive questions about why they have a name that is inconsistent with their perceived gender expression. Many transgender students adopt a preferred first name as an important step towards expressing their gender identity.



These guidelines help you determine whether a preferred or legal name is most appropriate for inclusion on your report, process, or integration request. Information Technology Services, Institutional Research, or whichever department is providing the data to you can assist you in making this determination, but ultimately the decision and responsibility for correct name usage lies with the person using the data.



Legal Name

A person's legal name as recorded in the student information system (Banner). The legal name should match other legal documents the person has presented, such as a social security card, tax return, or FAFSA.

Preferred/Chosen Name

The College recognizes that some students may prefer to use a first name other than their legal name to identify themselves.




A. Legal Name

1. Required Usage

A student’s legal name shall be used on all College documents, systems and communications external to the College and/or where a legal name is required.  Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial Aid records;
  • Student Accounts records;
  • Student Personally Identifiable Information;
  • Student Directory information;
  • Payroll records;Health records;
  • Official transcripts;
  • Federal immigration documents; and
  • Interactions with government

2. General Guidelines

Reports, processes, or integrations that include off-campus contact information should generally use the legal name. This includes both physical and digital mailings (i.e., street address and personal email address).

B. Preferred/Chosen Name

1. General Guidelines

As long as the use of a preferred/chosen first name is not for an improper purpose, the College acknowledges that a preferred/chosen first name can and should be used where possible in the course of College business and education. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Student Identification cards;
  • Class rosters;
  • Advisor lists;
  • Canvas Learning Management System
  • Diplomas, awards, and recognitions
  • Email and calendar entries



If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please contact the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.

If you have any technical questions or need assistance from Information Technology Services, please call the Help Desk at 508-588-9100 extension 1139.

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Article ID: 86374
Fri 9/6/19 9:04 AM
Fri 7/28/23 1:35 PM

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