Preferred Name Procedure
At St. Lawrence University, creating an inclusive environment for our diverse student body is a priority. We recognize that some students prefer to be identified by a first name other than their legal name. All SLU students therefore have the option to use a first name different than their legal name on certain University records. Any student may choose to identify a preferred first name in addition to their legal name (as listed on the driver’s license, Social Security card, passport, etc.) The University will display the preferred first name to the University community where feasible and appropriate and make a good faith effort to update records, documents and systems accordingly. This procedure applies to those students who wish to use a preferred name on campus.
A student who indicates a preferred name will see it used whenever possible in campus systems and documents, with the exception of cases where the student’s legal name is required by law. Please note that last names can only be changed with documentation of a legal name change.
Process for Requesting Preferred Name
Students who do not have a preferred name on file and would like to be identified by a preferred name should submit a Change of Student Information Form to the Registrar’s Office, which you can find at the link below. Please enter your preferred first name in the “Preferred Name” line, which does not require documentation. If you have questions regarding the form or would like help with this process, please contact Debbie Richards at 315-229-5268 or drop by the Registrar’s Office in Vilas 117. Please note that the University reserves the right to deny a preferred name request if it is inappropriate in nature.
Process for Removing or Updating Preferred Name
Students who have already indicated a preferred name but would like to either remove or change that name can submit the same Change of Student Information Form to the Registrar’s Office. Please note that a preferred name request of any kind can only be made once per semester.
Student ID Card
After submitting a preferred name request, students can go to the Safety & Security Office on campus, located at 76 Park St. and request a new ID card with their preferred first name. You will also have the option to update your picture at this time. There is no charge for updating your name on your student ID card at this time.
Places Where Preferred Name Will Appear
Once the Registrar’s Office makes the updates, our University will then make every effort to update our many independent systems across campus to reflect your preferred name where possible. Generally, you can expect to see your preferred name in the following places:
- Online directory
- Email display of name
- IT Support System
- Class rosters / APR2 / Sakai / Library
- Commencement programs
- Residence Life Rosters
- Diplomas (optional)
- Co-curricular rosters (athletic rosters, student organization membership, etc. and related reporting.
Places Where Legal Name Will Appear
- Financial Aid and Billing
- Official and unofficial transcripts
- Enrollment verification
- Accounts payable & student refund checks
- Paychecks & paystubs
- Required information reporting to the IRS (W2, 1098T, 1042S, etc.)
- Certain official forms or correspondence from the University (financial aid awards, new hire forms, etc.)
- Medical records
- Disciplinary records, including Safety & Security reports
- Federal immigration documents
- Official correspondence with external entities
Preferred Name FAQs:
What is a preferred name?
A preferred first name is a name other than your legal first name by which you wish to be identified. Your legal name is that which appears on your legal documentation, such as your Social Security Card, birth certificate, passport, or driver’s license.
If I indicated a preferred name during the application/admissions process, can I change it now?
Yes, you can follow the same process above to either change or remove the preferred name we have on file for you.
Can I set my preferred name to anything I want?
SLU will allow preferred name changes within reason. We reserve the right to refuse a preferred name request if it is considered inappropriate.
Can I use my preferred name everywhere on campus?
The University will use your preferred name everywhere possible (please see the list above of places you will see your preferred name used). However, there are cases where the use of your legal name is required by law. Only a documented legal name change will update what you see everywhere on campus.
How long will it take for my preferred name change to take effect?
Adjusting our campus procedures to include the use of preferred names is a priority for St. Lawrence, and our goal is to make the changes to your name as quickly as possible. However, due to the University’s many information systems and the complexity and interrelated nature of these systems, it may take several weeks for the name to be updated in all locations. We appreciate your patience as we expand our ability to use preferred names across our campus and work toward providing an efficient solution for this important need. If you have an immediate need or concern please reach out to the registrar’s office at 315-229-5268.
Who do I contact if I still see my legal name somewhere I think my preferred name should be?
While it will take time to update the many systems across campus, we will do our best to ensure this happens as quickly and thoroughly as possible. If you do find that your legal name is still appearing in a place where you believe your preferred name should be, please contact Debbie Richards in the Registrar’s office by calling 315-229-5268 or coming to Vilas 117.