Photo of the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception taken by Sean Newhouse
News Staff Writer
The University of Dayton adopted a new policy in June 2019 that allows students, faculty, staff and alumni to use a chosen name on university records and systems that do not require a legal name.
The chosen name policy permits those who identify with a name other than their legal name to request the use of their chosen name.
Students, faculty and staff are required to refer to individuals by their registered chosen name. The continued use of an individual’s legal name after being changed to a chosen name is a violation of UD policy.
A chosen name can be used on an individual’s ID card, Porches, Isidore, 1850, class rosters, diplomas, housing and residence life, email and additional places. A legal name is still required on some documents such as financial aid records, official transcripts, police and conduct records, medical and insurance records, student employment records and more.
UD stated the Chosen Name policy follows the university’s commitment to respecting the dignity of every person, and that respect is “central to our life as a Christian and educational community.”
This policy is especially of interest to trans members of the UD community who may not identify with their legal name.
Logan Symons, junior history major, uses they/them or he/him pronouns and identifies as transmasculine. Symons describes their identity as transmasculine to mean nonbinary but leaning more masculine.
Symons changed their name before the chosen name policy existed at UD.
Before the chosen name policy, Symons stated “it was difficult because it wasn’t an explicit policy, so you had to kind of figure it out yourself, while now it’s just written for anyone to do.”
“I had to email the dean of students, and then they had to talk to people, and then eventually it got changed,” Symons said.
Explaining the process, Symons specified, “I had to talk to someone that had done it, figure out how to do it, and then I had to do it myself. It was a lot of hoops to jump through to get that done.”
Now, with an official chosen name policy in place, the process of changing one’s name is streamlined. According to Symons, an explicit policy that explains how to go through the process will make trans students more willing to go through the process of changing one’s name.
“For trans identifying students, I know (the chosen name policy) makes it a lot easier for them to change their name, and it makes it less of a taboo thing to do.”
Symons highlighted that in their experience, UD is accepting of LGBTQ+ students and believes that the chosen name policy is “another extension of that.”
The chosen name policy helps to foster a more accepting community, Symons said. “I think it’s an important policy to have in place to make it easy for trans identifying students to be called what they want to be called.”
More information about the Chosen Name Policy can be found here.