Ohio University is the latest institution to join the preferred name trend, adopting a new policy that will allow students to designate a preferred name or gender pronoun for identification.
As reported by the Athens Messenger, the preferred name and pronouns will be used when the student’s legal name is not required. The policy was approved on June 4 and will provide a specific set of guidelines for the use of preferred names and pronouns.
The policy is the product of a unanimously approved “Preferred Name” resolution raised by the university’s student and graduate student senates that goes back as far as two years.
To preserve the privacy of those who wish to remain anonymous in the process, preferred names can be self-reported at My Ohio Student Center for students, or at the My Personal Information portal for employees.
As part of the comprehensive policy, university officials have stipulated some exceptions to the use of preferred names and pronouns. A student’s legal name must be used for:
- Admission applications
- Reporting to state and federal agencies
- Official transcripts
- Financial aid documents and processes
- ID cards: Both the preferred and legal names will appear on student ID
- Enrollment and degree verification processes
- Transfer and external credit processes
- Official lists of students made available to the public
- For communications with parents/legal guardians
- Records where the legal name is required by law or university policy
Students are allowed to designate any preferred name and pronoun they wish, but the university will reserve the right to remove any name that is deemed inappropriate or used for misrepresentation. A legal name change is not required before a preferred name is requested. Additional information about the new policy can be found at the “Names” page on the Ohio University Registrar website.