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Academic Rules, Student Responsibilities & Services

Preferred Name Policy

I. General Policy Statement

The Preferred or Chosen Name Policy allows members of the Syracuse University community to use names other than their legal names to identify themselves where possible and appropriate.

II. Reason for Policy/Purpose

Syracuse University recognizes that some members of the campus community prefer to use names other than their legal names ("Preferred or Chosen Names") to identify themselves. The University acknowledges that a University community member's Preferred or Chosen Name can and should be used where possible in the course of University education and communication. The use of a Preferred or Chosen Name is not permissible for the purposes of misrepresentation. The goal of the Preferred or Chosen Name Policy is a consistent preferred-name experience across University systems and use of one's Preferred or Chosen Name wherever

III. Policy

  1. Permissible Use of Preferred or Chosen Names

    Except as set forth in Section III. B. of this Policy, members of the University community are entitled to use Preferred or Chosen Names to identify themselves. The University acknowledges that a Preferred or Chosen Name can and should be used where possible in the course of University education and communication. It is solely the responsibility of students using a Preferred or Chosen Name to ensure that their professors are able to identify the student's work for grading purposes.

  2. Prohibited Use of Preferred or Chosen Names

    Preferred or Chosen Names shall not be used for the purpose of misrepresentation, avoiding legal obligations, or otherwise in any manner that violates University policies or federal, state, or local laws. Preferred or Chosen Names that are not administratively possible to implement, including, without limitation, symbols or images, are prohibited.

    The University reserves the right to remove any Preferred or Chosen Name without prior notice to the individual due to misuse or abuse of this Preferred or Chosen Name Policy, including, but not limited to, misrepresentation, attempting to avoid legal obligations, or the use of highly offensive or derogatory names.

  3. Display of Preferred or Chosen Names

    At this time, Preferred or Chosen Names will only appear on class and grade rosters. Going forward, the University will attempt to display Preferred or Chosen Names to the University community where feasible and appropriate and will make a good faith effort to update reports, documents and systems that are designated to use Preferred or Chosen Names.

  4. Privacy

    Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a student's name, including one's Preferred Name, may be disclosed to the public as "directory information" unless the student opts not to permit such disclosure.

IV. To Whom Does This Policy Apply

Students, Faculty, Staff

V. Appendices (as applicable)

  1. Procedures
    1. Individuals may identify a Preferred or Chosen Name in addition to their official name of record using the View/Update Names page link found in the Personal Services section of MySlice.
    2. Individuals who wish to change their official name of record must submit official, legal name change documentation (e.g., court order, divorce decree) directly to the Office of the Registrar if a student or to the Office of Human Resources if employed within the University. For non-U.S. citizens, the official name of record is the name on a passport, visa or other acceptable government document.
    3. To revoke the University's disclosure of directory information under FERPA, a student has the option of requesting privacy by submitting a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form in person to the Office of the Registrar. For more information, see the Registrar's FERPA information page.
  2. Definitions
    1. Official Name of Record - An Official (or Legal name) is the name that appears on an individual's passport, driver's license, birth certificate, or U.S. Social Security Card
    2. Preferred or Chosen Name - A Preferred Name is a name that an individual wishes to be known by, or identifies by, in the University community that is different from the individuals Official/Legal Name
  3. Forms
    1. none
  4. Other Related Policies and Documents
    1. Compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  5. Frequently Asked Questions
    1. If I input a Preferred or Chosen Name as a student, where will my name appear?
      Answer: At this time, Preferred or Chosen Names will only appear for students on class and grade rosters, in their email display name, and in certain other areas of the Blackboard Learning Management System.
    2. If I input a Preferred or Chosen Name as an instructor, where will my name appear?
      Answer: In the Blackboard Learning Management System an instructor's Preferred or Chosen Name will show next to the course listing as the instructor of the course, in the class roster, in the discussion board, and in their email display name, as well as in the other communication tools.
    3. If I input a Preferred or Chosen Name as a staff member, where will my name appear?
      Answer: A Preferred or Chosen Name will show on a staff member's email display name, as well as in the Blackboard Learning Management System a staff members Preferred or Chosen Name will show up in all places where a name it displayed (e.g., Blackboard Communities)
    4. Will my Preferred or Chosen Name appear as my e-mail display name?
      Answer: Yes
    5. Will my Preferred or Chosen Name appear on my SU ID card?
      Answer: Not at this time.
    6. Where may I change my name and how do I change it?
      Answer: Via the MySlice Personal Services Section.
    7. How often can I change my name?
      Answer: There is no limit.
    8. Is my Preferred or Chosen Name visible to my parent or guardian?
      Answer: Only if you have given them proxy access to your MySlice Portal.
    9. I am a SUNY ESF student taking classes at SU (or SU student taking classes at ESF). Where will my Preferred or Chosen Name appear?
      Answer: If you are taking any SU class your preferred name will appear on class and grade rosters for that class.
    10. Can I add preferred pronouns and preferred gender markers to my MySlice Portal?
      Answer: Not at this time.
    11. What if I have additional questions about this policy?
      Answer: Please contact the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience regarding student name usage and the Office of Human Resources regarding employee name usage. Or email PreferredNamePolicy@syr.edu with further questions or suggestions.

Date: Created: 12/7/16


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