[TACRAO] Listserv SMU: Preferred/Chosen vs Legal Name and Gender Pronouns

Hall, John A. (University Registrar) jhall at mail.smu.edu
Mon Oct 1 17:05:34 CDT 2018

Here is SMU's Preferred Name statement...
I have not dealt with a case where someone refused to use a preferred name even after they knew it. There may have been cases of which I am not aware.
Preferred Name
Students who wish to use a name other than their legal name can add a preferred name to their file in addition to their primary/legal name, or update a preferred name already on file, using the self service functions in the my.SMU Student Center.  The University will make efforts to use the preferred name in communications and in the course of university business. However, there are situations that due to business practices, legal requirements or system limitations the use of a primary/legal name will be used.
SMU has many offices that keep records with student names and many data systems used for specific applications. In addition to updating their preferred name in my.SMU, students may need to notify some offices regarding their use of a preferred name.
A preferred name is a first, middle and / or last name that may be chosen to be used instead of legal first, middle and last name. There is no documentation required to create or change a preferred name. Students are advised that if they choose to use a preferred name, they should use it consistently and resist changing it frequently. Students also are advised that the use of a preferred last name can lead to confusion with employers and organizations in attempting to match official educational records with applications and it is recommended that students provide both their preferred and legal names on applications.
Here is a partial list of standard name usage:
Display name - my.SMU Student Center

Preferred name, if provided

Instructor Class Roster

Preferred name, if provided

Instructor Grade Roster

Preferred name, if provided


Preferred name, if provided

Global Directory of email addresses

Preferred name, if provided

SMU online directory

Preferred name, if provided


Primary (legal) name - under review

Financial Aid related forms and documents

Primary (legal) name

Official Academic Transcript

Primary (legal) name


Primary (legal) name or derivative

Degree Verifications

Primary (legal) name

Housing / Residence Life

Preferred first name, Primary Last name

SEVIS Reporting (international students)

Primary (legal) name

From: tacrao-bounces at tamuc.edu [mailto:tacrao-bounces at tamuc.edu] On Behalf Of Kathy Williams
Sent: Monday, October 1, 2018 3:37 PM
To: tacrao at tamuc.edu
Subject: [TACRAO] Listserv Preferred/Chosen vs Legal Name and Gender Pronouns

I'm interested in learning how other schools deal with gender identity matters in their Student Information System (we're a Banner school).  We recently had the president of our LGBTQ+ student organization complain that one of their instructors continues to use their "dead name" in class, rather than their chosen name they began using after their transition, despite being asked several times to stop using their "dead name".  The instructor is using the name on the class roster (the student's legal name), which is the name the student considers their "dead name".  Has your institution dealt with a similar situation?  If so, do you have a solution to ensure that the class roster pulls the student's chosen name, rather than their legal name?

Also, Banner only has three options for gender: male, female, and none.  However, it's my understanding that the Coordinating Board requires that schools report either male or female, and will not allow reports submitted with "none" as the gender.  In the diverse world in which we live today, there are now gender-neutral pronouns (Zie, Hir, they, them, their).  Do you have a way to record a student's preferred pronoun in Banner, and is there a way to ensure that pronoun is included on the class roster so that gender-neutral students are addressed by their preferred pronoun?

[Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: TAMUT_Logo_2clr_01A-emailnew]Kathy Williams
Vice President of Student Enrollment, Engagement, & Success
kathy.williams at tamut.edu<mailto:kathy.williams at tamut.edu>
Phone:  903.223.3182

7101 University Avenue
University Center, Suite 260
Texarkana, TX  75503-0597

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