Beginning this month the University of California, Santa Barbara will acknowledge students’ preferred names across a range of campus services, with student IDs, class rosters and student-faculty interactions all set to reflect the preferred name.
According to a report from the Santa Barbara Independent, UCSB has for the past two years been working with disparate systems, databases, and feeds that use and store student names. Now, with a consolidation of these systems, the campus can push forward with a more comprehensive a preferred name policy. The new system goes live prior to the start of summer classes this June.
UCSB’s Registrar’s Office will work with the university’s Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity to implement the preferred name policy and system. As with other universities, there remain some departments at UCSB that will still require a legal name to accompany the preferred name for each student on file, but the campus will use only the student’s preferred name when addressing students on campus. The new system will enable students to change their first name only, and will require legal documentation should the student wish to change their last name.
Despite enabling the use of preferred first names, the Independent report says that UCSB’s system does not currently include a feature for displaying preferred gender pronouns in the campus system. There’s no word yet on whether the current initiative will address this aspect, but enabling the use of preferred names is nevertheless seen as a positive first step toward transgender inclusivity at UCSB.