SUNY Plattsburgh Campus Handbook


Preferred First Name Policy

Approved by Executive Council on April 5, 2016

Policy Number Owner
2003.1  Title IX

1.0    Purpose

In the spirit of acknowledging the diverse and inclusive ethos of SUNY Plattsburgh, and with the purpose of encouraging an environment for personal expression within community standards, SUNY Plattsburgh recognizes the needs of students and employees who wish to be identified by a first name that differs from their legal name. 

2.0    Revision History

Date Version Change Ref Section
4/5/2016 1.0 New Document  
6/29/2016 1.1 Minor Revisions  7.0, 8.0
1/3/2017 1.2 Minor Revisions  

 3.0    Units and Persons Affected

All newly accepted and currently enrolled students and all employees, including CAS and Research Foundation. 

 4.0    Policy

The SUNY Plattsburgh preferred first name policy allows students and employees to officially notify the college of their preferred first names, and have this change reflected in on-campus communication systems, as long as the preferred first name is not used for purposes of misidentification, fraud or misrepresentation and that the preferred first name meets community standards (i.e. not profane, obscene, or derived from hate-speech; and conform to technical requirements).  There are limits to where preferred first names will be reflected in college communications. 

This policy is consistent with current Title IX federal law protecting students against discrimination based on gender identity and expression, and is a best practice for supporting transgender and gender non-conforming members of college communities.  This service is not limited to use by transgender and gender non-conforming students and employees, however, and is available to anyone who uses a preferred first name on a daily basis other than their legal/primary first name. 

The preferred first name is used for internal communication and certain external communications (i.e. website staff bio pages, sports information). Internal applications for the use of approved preferred first name include but may not be limited to: class rosters (including Moodle), advising lists, housing lists, and email. Cardinal Cards (employee/student identification cards) will display both legal and preferred first name. The College is obligated to use the legal first name for many official records and reports, including but not limited to: certain employment and payroll records, billing records, financial aid documents, official transcripts, diploma, medical records, employee benefits records, expense reimbursements, travel and purchasing authorizations, enrollment reporting, conduct hearing results, external reporting and federal immigration documents.

Requests for use of preferred first name shall be limited to one request per academic year.  

5.0    Definitions

6.0    Responsibilities

The Title IX Compliance Administrator will answer questions about the policy and process. The Registrar reviews preferred first name requests from students; the Assistant Vice President for Human Resource Services reviews preferred first name requests from employees. The Title IX Coordinator shall review appeals for denied requests.

7.0    Procedures 

Questions about the preferred first name policy may be directed to the Title IX Compliance Administrator. Students with questions about the process for requesting use of a preferred first name should contact the Registrar. Employees should contact the Assistant Vice President for Human Resource Services. Requests are to be submitted using the MyPlattsburgh Portal. Appeals for denied requests should be submitted to the Title IX Coordinator.

8.0    Appendix 


Contact Information

For questions about the Campus Handbook, please contact:

Management Services Office
Office: Kehoe 710-11
Phone: (518) 564-2538
Fax: (518) 564-2540