Published August 30, 2017
UB is offering students the option to use preferred names, rather than their legal first and middle names, on class rosters and in the HUB Student Center online.
The option was launched as a way to alleviate the difficulty transgender students faced when taking new classes. Previously, they had to contact each professor to explain what name they wanted to use.
But during the soft rollout of the preferred-name option, international students who want to use a different first or middle name and others who prefer their middle name or a nickname also have utilized it.
Students’ legal first name will still be used on official documents, like financial aid statements, bills, tax forms, parking tickets, diplomas and transcripts.
Their preferred names will appear in the HUB center, on class rosters, grade rosters, course evaluations, the early alert system and UBlearns.
Transgender students also have the option of changing their email names by contacting the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
“On campus, the transgender population is relatively small — maybe a few hundred students — but it is very important to them,” says Sharon Nolan-Weiss, director of the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. “In the past, they’ve had to ‘out’ themselves to professors before classes began.”
For other students who may simply prefer a nickname — Bob rather than Robert, for example — the preferred-name option could make the university a more inviting place.
The Office of the Registrar will check the names people are selecting. The Student Code of Conduct prohibits individuals from using lewd, indecent or discriminatory names.