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Preferred Name / Pronouns
Preferred First Name
What is preferred first name?
On occasion, some Western Connecticut State University students prefer to be known by a name other than what is considered their legal first name. In an effort to accommodate these students and avoid any undue confusion, the university has created a preferred first name option for student information as it appears in certain locations. While anyone is welcome to use a preferred first name, several groups of people will find this option invaluable.
Some students prefer to be known by their middle name or nickname and confusion may arise when the university only refers to their first name. Transgender students may use a preferred first name on campus prior to or without pursuing a legal change of their first name. Additionally, many international students may also find this option helpful if they use a nickname during the course of their studies in the United States.
The University reserves the right to approve or disapprove preferred first name change requests.
Required use of legal first name:
In some instances, students’ legal names must always be used regardless of whether preferred names have been added to the system. Legal names will always appear on all external use reports and documents including, but not limited to, hiring paper work, paychecks, accounts payable checks, student billing, financial aid forms, tax forms, official University transcripts, official diplomas, and any other documents required by law. Legal first names can only be changed on these records when students pursue a legal name change with their home state and/or federal authorities and then submit that documentation to the Office of the Registrar.
If students are using a preferred name in the campus systems they must be prepared to use legal name and identification in all instances where legal identification or official information is necessary. In addition to the areas noted above, a WCSU ID card that displays a preferred name cannot be used as a valid form of identification where it is normally accepted such as in DHS I-9 hiring forms, and in some states for voter check-in during official elections. All students with a preferred name on a University ID card are encouraged to obtain a legal State ID, driver’s license, international ID, and/ or a Federal Passport for identity verification purposes when needed.
The use of a preferred name in the University system may also lead to more intensive examinations when seeking certain federal or state security clearances or background checks. You are encouraged to disclose this information to your investigating authorities ahead of time to avoid unexpected discrepancies and delays.
Any student found to have abused this service for the purposes of fraudulent representation will be subject to a student conduct investigation.