East Stroudsburg University recognizes that many students use a first or middle name other than their legal name. As long as the use of a preferred first and/or middle name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation, the university acknowledges that a preferred first and/or middle name may be used in the course of university business and education.
Therefore, the university will permit a student who wishes to identify him/herself within the university’s information systems with a preferred first and/or middle name in addition to their legal name. Preferred last names do not apply to this policy.
It is further understood that the student's preferred first and/or middle name should be used in university communications and reporting, except where the use of the legal name is necessitated by university business or legal requirement. Examples of records showing a legal name include official transcripts, degree audits, commencement brochures, degree certificates, financial records, W-2 forms, enrollment data, financial aid documents, paychecks and mailing information. To change the name on official records, a student must make a legal name change and then inform the university. A students’ legal name will be displayed on official transcripts, enrollment verifications, diplomas, third party database systems, and all external communications.
The preferred first and/or middle name cannot be changed more than once an academic year and twice during a student’s tenure at ESU. The student must return the completed Preferred Name Request Form in person at the Student Enrollment Center. If a student is not able to return the Preferred Name Request Form in person, a completed, notarized form will be accepted.
THE ABILITY TO USE A PREFERRED NAME IS NOT A RIGHT; IT IS A LIMITED ACCOMMODATION OF A PREFERENCE. THE UNIVERSITY WILL NOT ACCEPT PREFERRED NAMES THAT USE PROFANITY OR HAVE THE EFFECT OF MOCKERY. The option to use the preferred first and/or middle name may be modified, changed, altered, or rescinded at the discretion of East Stroudsburg University.
Preferred first names will be used in the following systems and records:
- Student Identification Cards
- Online Directory
- Official Student Email Display Name
- Class and Grade Rosters (for students taking courses)
- Housing Rosters
- Press Releases
- Social Media Sites
- Other Venues, as appropriate
Legal names will continue to be used for official University records including, but not limited to the following:
- Academic Transcripts
- Financial Aid and Scholarship Documents
- Degree Verification/Audit
- Legal documents and reports produced by the University
- Student Account Statement (bills)
- Enrollment Verifications
- Degree Verifications
- Student Employment Documents
- Employment Verifications
- Employment Documents
- Paychecks, W2s and other payroll documents
- Student Medical Records
Reason for Policy:
To provide a limited accommodation for students who prefer to use a first and/or name other than their legal name. The University recognizes that some members use first and/or middle names other than their legal names to identify themselves, this option has been developed to respond to the needs of some international students, transgender students and others who choose the use of a preferred name for other reasons.
As long as the use of this different first and/or middle name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation, the university acknowledges that a "preferred name" may be used where possible in the course of University business and education.
Students who feel their preferred first name change was denied unjustly may file an appeal with the Vice President of Campus Life & Inclusive Excellence.
Legal Name – A person's legal name is the name they use for official governmental documents, such as licenses, passports, and tax forms.
Preferred Name – A preferred first name is defined as an alternative to the individuals legal name as designated by the individual in university systems.
Academic Year – The Fall and Spring semesters, does not include winter and summer sessions.