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Chosen Name Policy

Posted on August 28, 2017 | Filed under Archive

This post has been archived. Information below may be out of date and/or relate to a past event.

Last year we implemented a chosen name policy. The feedback from students on our first year of implementation is very positive! This is a reminder that for students who requested the use of a chosen name, WebAdvisor will show the chosen name in parentheses next to the legal name (e.g., Smith, Susan (Steven), or Du, Yongtao (Alex)). On Sakai and in e-mail addresses, a student’s Chosen Name will appear instead of their legal first name. Please use the student’s Chosen Name when you communicate with them, verbally or in writing, and please do not discuss a student’s Chosen Name situation in front of other students. Students: want to submit your chosen name? Fill out this form! or email justin adkins, director of the IDEAS Center at jadkins@allegheny.edu

More Information:
While the Chosen Name policy encompasses students with a variety of reasons for changing their name, it is our particular responsibility to do our best to support our transgender students. Per the Department of Education, there are a number of ways we can protect transgender students’ interests in keeping their transgender status private. Some of the most important steps we can take include consistently using the appropriate name and pronouns.

Using transgender students’ birth name or pronouns that do not match their gender identity risks disclosing a student’s transgender status. Keeping a student’s transgender status private is an important step for us to create an inclusive, respectful, and safe residential learning community. Additionally, federal privacy laws apply to transgender students and how to keep information about a student’s transgender status confidential. Following simple steps such as referring to a student by their chosen name and pronouns are the two easiest steps to these ends.

A helpful video about pronoun use has been created by the University of Maryland, College Park:

If you have questions about this policy, please contact the Director of the IDEAS Center, justin adkins, or the Registrar and Associate Dean Ian Binnington.