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Preferred First Name: Information for Students and Employees

In the spirit of acknowledging the diverse and inclusive ethos of SUNY Plattsburgh, to align with current Title IX legislation, and with the purpose of encouraging an environment for personal expression within community standards (i.e. not profane, obscene, or derived from hate-speech; and conform to technical requirements), SUNY Plattsburgh recognizes the needs of students and employees who wish to be identified by a first name that differs from their legal name.

The SUNY Plattsburgh preferred first names process 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 the preferred first name aligns with community standards.

There are limits to where preferred first names will be reflected in college communications. Requests for use of preferred first name shall be limited to one request per academic year. This policy shall be in effect beginning fall 2016.

Students: The Office of the Registrar reviews preferred first name requests from students. Students with questions about the policy and/or process for requesting use of a preferred first name should contact the Registrar. Appeals for denied requests should be presented to the Title IX Coordinator.

Employees: The Human Resources Services office reviews preferred first name requests from employees. Appeals for denied requests should be presented to the Title IX Coordinator.

The preferred first name is used in 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 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, medical records, employee benefits records, enrollment reporting, expense reimbursements, travel and purchasing authorizations, conduct hearing results, and federal immigration documents.

Adjusting our various information systems to include the use of the preferred first name is a multi-year effort, due to the complexity and interrelated nature of systems and record sources. We appreciate your patience as we expand our ability to use of the preferred first name in records, and work toward providing a solution for this important need.

View SUNY Plattsburgh's Preferred First Name Policy.

Preferred First Name Request Form

You can submit a preferred first name request online. Banner Web Login required


FAQ About Preferred First Name Policy

Q: Why do we have a Preferred First Name Policy?

The policy brings us in line with recommendations for compliance with the government’s Title IX provisions. It also promotes a campus ethos which welcomes and supports self-expression.

Q: Who does the policy effect?

Students and employees, as well as employees of College Auxiliary Services and the Research Foundation, who wish to be recognized by and use a different first name from their legal first name, and within community standards (i.e. no profanity, obscenity, derivations from hate-speech and compliant with technical requirements).

Q: Why would someone want to use a preferred first name?

There are plenty of reasons. Usually because of a personal identification (for example, transgender or transitioning persons), or for an “Americanization” of their legal name, particularly among our international colleagues and students.

Q: Does the policy allow me to change my legal name?

No. The policy only impacts the first name. Your legal name remains unchanged.

Q: Where will I see a preferred first name?

You will see them on most internal communications, such as email, MyPlattsburgh, advising and class lists, housing lists, and mailroom. Cardinal Cards will also be affected, with the preferred first name on the front, and the legal name on the back.

Q: When does this take effect?

The full implementation will be August 2016, but through the summer, we will see it roll out in various ways on campus.

Q: How do I seek the use of a preferred first name?

Simply log in to MyPlattsburgh with your NetID and you will see the link to Preferred First Name.

Q: How often can I request a preferred first name?

Requests are limited to one per academic year. See the full policy at web.plattsburgh.edu/policies/administrative/preferred-name-policy.php


Contact Information

Butterfly Blaise
Title IX Coordinator
Office: Hawkins 151
Phone: (518) 564-3281
Email: [email protected]