Chosen Names Policy_9.18.17

Title: Chosen Names Policy
Contact: Bill Boerner, Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Passed by University Senate: 1-27-17
Approved by Cabinet: 8-23-17

I. Reason for Policy

Chosen names can be vitally important to our students, faculty, and staff for a variety of reasons. For those within the LGBTQ community, they allow the use of a name that properly expresses one’s gender identity. In some cases they help individuals avoid reminders of past trauma. They allow international students to use a westernized name that makes them feel more comfortable in their new setting. Whatever reason an individual has for using a chosen name, this policy communicates to individuals that they are welcome and valued on our campus; it can be a vital tool in recruitment and retention strategies.

II. Policy Statement

Fredonia recognizes that many persons identify using a name that is different from their legal first name. Fredonia will refer to this name as the “Chosen Name” and will use it when possible in the course of university activities. A change to a person’s last name must be made legally.

A. Definitions:

1. LGBTQ: The acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and
    Queer. This is an umbrella term used to refer to a community of individuals
    whose sexual or gender identities can create shared political and social
    experiences. The acronym is not meant to be exclusionary; there are other
    identities, including but not limited to asexual and intersex, that fall under this
    umbrella term.
2. Transgender, Trans: An umbrella term that represents individuals whose
    gender identities do not match the sex assigned to them at birth.
3. Cisgender, Cis: An individual whose gender identity matches the sex assigned
    to them at birth.
4. Chosen Name: The first name that an individual uses regardless of the name
    that was assigned to them at birth. Sometimes referred to as a “preferred
5. F#: The number assigned to any student, faculty, or staff member when they
    begin an official relationship with Fredonia.
6. FREDCard: An identification card used on the Fredonia campus issued by the
    Fredonia Student Association (FSA).
B. Scope:

        1. When the program is fully implemented, an individual’s Chosen Name will be utilized
            in the following:

a. Student Health Center
b. Counseling Center
c. ID card (FREDCard)
d. Class rosters
e. Learning management system (OnCourse)
f. Student, faculty, staff portal (Your Connection)
g. Student Information System
h. Email address
i. Advising folders
j. Campus Directory
k. Residence Life Directory
l. Commencement programs
m. Diploma n. Library
o. Athletics
p. Business Cards q. Office Signage
2. An individual’s legal name will continue to be utilized in the following:
a. Transcripts
b. Paychecks and pay stubs c. Financial Aid records
d. Tax Documents
e. Human Resources records
f.  Any off campus communications (such as any letters sent to a
    permanent address, communication with emergency personnel,
    licensing boards)
C. Participation in Fredonia’s Chosen Name program:
1. Any person with an F# can request to use a Chosen Name.
2. When the program is fully implemented, participants will be able to self-enroll
D. Limitations:
1. An individual’s legal first name will still be accessible to university personnel
    when it is necessary to carry out the duties of the institution.
2. Although an individual may select any Chosen Name, the university reserves
    the right to deny or remove a Chosen Name if it is inappropriate or used for
    an improper purpose.
a. Inappropriate Chosen Names include but are not limited to those
    that avoid legal obligation, misrepresent, harass, threaten, or are
    otherwise objectionable.
b. In most cases, a Chosen Name should not be a message,
    company, or group name, especially if it is for promotional
c. Characters in a Chosen Name: So that Chosen Names can be fully
    integrated into our information technology systems, the following
    character limitations have been implemented. A Chosen Name:
i.  Must contain at least one alpha character (A-Z, upper
    or lowercase). That is, the Chosen Name field cannot
    be blank.
ii. May contain the following non-alpha characters: space,
    hyphen, apostrophe, and period.
iii. May not contain numbers (although a number may be
    spelled out in a person’s Chosen Name).
iv. May not contain symbols.
d. If a Chosen Name is questioned, it will be referred to an advisory
    group under the authority of the Office for Diversity, Equity, and
    Inclusion, which will make a recommendation to the Chief
    Diversity Officer (CDO). The CDO has ultimate responsibility for
    approving or disapproving a Chosen Name.
e. Individuals with a Chosen Name deemed inappropriate can either
    select a different Chosen Name or continue to use the legal name.
3. Students, faculty and staff may make no more than two requests to change
    their Chosen Name within a 365-day period.
E. Confirming identity internally: Whenever possible, an F# should be collected. If names
    conflict, check the F# to confirm an individual’s identity.

F. Communication with outside agencies: Any participant in the chosen name program who
    directs an outside agency to correspond with Fredonia bears the responsibility for
    clarifying their name with all agencies.

G. FREDCards:

1. Students, faculty and staff who adopt a Chosen Name must obtain a
    replacement ID card within two weeks of the change.
2. While students, faculty and staff may change their Chosen Name more than
    once, they are entitled to only one free replacement card. The individual is
    responsible for any replacement card charges associated with subsequent
3. The FREDCard is not recognized as a legal form of identification.

III. Related Documents
       A. Chosen Name Policy passed by University Senate, 1-27-17
       B. Final Report of the Chosen Name Task Force

IV. Website Address for this Policy
V. Authority for Policy
        Authority for policies is the President's Cabinet.