Name Change/Pronoun in Use/Name in Use Information
Application for admission to the University requires students to use their legal name. The legal name must be the name that is recorded on legal documents such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, passport, social security card, alien registration card, certificate of naturalization, etc. with the Social Security Administration. If a student changes their legal name, the University will require proof of the new legal name recorded on a legal document, which can include a marriage license, adoption record with new birth certificate, divorce decree, court order, etc. by evidence of the social security card. The legal name is imperative at both the state and federal level reporting (e.g. financial aid, College Opportunity Fund, employment, immigration).
Name In Use
The University of Northern Colorado is aware that many of its students use a first name other than their legal name. As part of being a welcoming and inclusive campus, UNC has implemented changes to increase the use of the name in use in the course of UNC business and education.
Because use of a student's legal first name will continue to be necessary in certain records and communications, both the legal first name and name in use (if requested) will be stored within UNC's primary information systems. When a student contacts a UNC office in person or by phone, the staff in that office may only have electronic access to the student's legal first name.
To initiate the process to include a name in use in a student record, the Individual Data Change Request Form must be completed and submitted.
(this policy statement may be modified or rescinded at the discretion of UNC)
Name In Use Policy
A first name by which an individual wishes to be identified, that is other than the individual's legal name, is a "name in use." UNC will provide a process to include a name in use for any student’s first name in UNC's information systems. While UNC will work toward primary use of the name in use, students should be aware that the use of the legal name will continue to be necessary in multiple communications and processes due to UNC business or legal requirements and/or system limitations.
UNC reserves the right to deny a request to include a name in use in its information systems if the request is fraudulent, carries connotations offensive or indecent, or violates the Board Policy Manual, University Regulations and/or Student Code of Conduct. Issues relating to such matters may be referred to the Dean of Students Office for consideration and resolution.
UNC will investigate reports of misuse and abuse of the name in use process/policy statement. Depending on the circumstances, those involved in such investigations may include Human Resources, Dean of Students, Provost, University Counsel, and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies.
The university also reserves the right to remove a name in use that is deemed misrepresentative and suspend the individual's privilege to update their name in use.
Pronoun in Use Information
For the purpose of this policy, pronouns refer to the personal, possessive, and reflexive words that replace proper nouns in different parts of speech/communication/writing that denote gender and by which an individual wishes to be identified. The University of Northern Colorado (UNC) embraces the diversity of its students. As an inclusive practice, UNC has implemented an optional process for students to designate their gender pronouns to the institution. It is our goal to have students' identities affirmed and their pronouns used appropriately in every aspect of campus life. Pronoun information can be designated by the student on the admissions application or by completing and submitting the Individual Data Change Request Form found on the Registrar website.
We encourage students to report issues relating to pronoun usage to the Dean of Students Office for consideration and resolution. Depending on the circumstances, those involved in such investigations may include Human Resources, Dean of Students, Provost, University Counsel, Office of Institutional Equity & Compliance, and/or appropriate law enforcement agencies.
(this procedure may be modified or updated at the discretion of UNC)
Special Characters in Name Usage
The use of special characters in an individual’s name is recognized and important to the University. All attempts are made to ensure the use of special characters used in an individual’s name. However, the University uses multiple database systems, both internal and external, where certain special characters are incompatible with the database field structures requiring the removal of the special character.
Name In Use / Graduation Ceremonies
Students may provide their name in use at the point they apply for graduation on the graduation application. Students with a name in use on file with the Office of the Registrar, and who wish to apply their name in use for graduation ceremonies and commencement program publication, must submit an Individual Data Change Request Form or Undergraduate Graduation Application by the graduation application deadline. For information on protocols, please visit the Graduation Deadlines site.
If a student chooses a name in use in place of a legal first name prior to the graduation ceremony, and in the commencement program (not transcripts or diplomas), and they did not make the request on the Graduation Application, they must submit an Individual Data Change Request Form. The student will then select the appropriate box to override one’s legal first name, and substitute the name in use for the legal first name at the ceremony.
If a student uses their middle name as a name in use, we recommend that they request removal of their middle name to prevent duplication. Should a student choose not to delete their middle name from the system, and their middle name is the same as their name in use, the middle name will be omitted from the program. Please see the FAQ section for more information.
Changing your name in use on the graduation application will also impact:
- Housing Contracts
- Recreation Center
- Student Online Directory
- Library Checkout
- Career Services (Handshake)
- Student Email address
A student’s legal name will be published on diplomas and official transcripts.
This policy statement may be modified or rescinded at the discretion of UNC.