29 October, 2014
Indiana University’s Student Association has passed a resolution that will allow students’ preferred names to appear on their IDs rather than their legal names.
Indiana the latest in a series of universities to offer the preferred name option. The policy at IU will display the preferred name on the front of the card, though students’ legal names will still be displayed on the back of the ID card.
As reported by the Indiana Daily Student, there is a large enough percentage of transgender students on the Indiana campus that a new policy protecting their identities and rights was warranted.
As with other universities, the preferred name policy at Indiana is being instituted to allow students to identify themselves without unnecessary confusion or personal explanations when presenting their university ID on campus. According to the report, the new policy could include registar functions as well, allowing students to use their preferred names for official class rosters.
At the time of card issuance, the student provides both a preferred name and legal name. Preferred name policies are designed to span gender, race and ethnicity and provide a means for students to identify themselves as they see fit.
Indiana already has a preferred nickname option with its student IDs, but the latest preferred name policy requires the student’s legal name to appear on the back of the card. This, according to university officials, is to assist in correctly identifying a student in the case of an emergency.