University at Buffalo Crest.

Policy Information

Date Established: 6/22/2017
Date Last Updated: 2/3/2021 
Category:
Academic
Responsible Office:
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Office of the Registrar
Responsible Executive:
President

Policy Contents

Student Preferred/Chosen Name

Summary

The university promotes diversity and a climate welcoming to a diverse community. Use of a student’s preferred/chosen name in the classroom and on campus is essential to a safe, inclusive environment.

Policy Statement

The University at Buffalo (UB, university) recognizes that students may use a first or middle name other than their legal name to identify themselves. The university will use a student’s preferred/chosen name, when possible, in the course of university education and business unless the student’s birth name or legal name is required by law or the preferred/chosen name is used for purposes of misidentification, fraud, or misrepresentation. For identity verification purposes, students must use their legal last name.

The university is required to use the legal first name for many official records and reports, including, but not limited to:

  • University and State University of New York (SUNY) reporting for compliance purposes
  • Bills
  • Financial aid documents
  • Parking tickets
  • 1098-T Tax Forms
  • Diplomas
  • Transcripts
  • Immigration documents
  • Medical records

Students who change their legal name may update their legal name of record through the Office of the Registrar. A legal name change will not impact students’ ability to select a preferred/chosen name.

The university reserves the right to review all name changes. The Student Code of Conduct prohibits individuals from using lewd, indecent, or discriminatory names. Students who change their name in violation of university policies or the Student Code of Conduct will be notified via their UB email address and the name(s) will be removed. Students who repeat this violation will be referred to Student Conduct and Advocacy.

University employees must use a student's preferred/chosen name whenever possible, and referring to a student by a different name for the purpose of misgendering them violates UB's Discrimination and Harassment Policy. Students who experience problems related to employee misuse of their preferred/chosen name, or who experience discrimination should contact Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Background

HUB (PeopleSoft) provides students the option to enter a preferred/chosen name quickly and discreetly, and without needing to ask for accommodations or assistance from university staff. When a preferred/chosen name is entered, that name appears on certain high-impact screens within HUB and other support systems allowing employees to refer to a student by their preferred/chosen name.

Applicability

This policy applies to students who wish to use the preferred/chosen name fields and to university employees (including individuals employed by the State, Research Foundation, or UB Foundation) who interact with them.

Employees interested in changing their preferred/chosen name may contact Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. 

Definitions

Legal Name

The name that identifies a person for legal and other official purposes. A person's legal name is generally the name given and registered at birth, and which appears on a birth certificate, but may subsequently change.

Preferred/Chosen Name

First or middle name by which a student may wish to be known or has chosen to be called, that differs from their legal first or middle name.

Responsibility

University Employees, Including Faculty, Staff, Graduate Assistants, Teaching Assistants, and Student Assistants

  • Use a student's preferred/chosen name whenever possible.
  • Use a student’s legal name when required.
  • Route students to the Office of the Registrar and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion as needed.

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

  • Investigate and respond to student complaints regarding misuse of their preferred/chosen name.

Office of the Registrar

  • Oversee preferred/chosen name functionality in HUB, including maintenance, testing, explanation of policy, and reviewing for student abuse of policy.

Contact Information

Contact An Expert
Contact Phone Email
Sarah Mack 716-645-6729 smpiston@buffalo.edu
Joseph Rizzo 716-645-5699 jdrizzo@buffalo.edu
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
716-645-2266 diversity@buffalo.edu
Office of the Registrar 716-645-5698 UBregistrar@buffalo.edu

Related Information

University Links

Related Links

History

Policy Revision History
February 2021 Updated the policy for inclusive language.

Presidential Approval

Signed by President Satish K. Tripathi

Satish K. Tripathi, President

6/22/2017

Date