Preferred Name Process Policy

The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University recognize that some members of our community use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves. We support every member’s right to self-identification and access to an educational and working environment that celebrates human dignity, self-discovery, and respect for all. As long as the use of a different name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation, members of our university community may use a name that is different than their legal name on certain university records and documents.

Updated: July 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a preferred name?

A preferred name (sometimes referred to as a chosen name, nickname, or name-in-use) is an alternative to an individual’s legal first, middle and/or last name that students, faculty, or staff wish to be known by within the CSBSJU community.

What is a legal name?

A legal name is the name that identifies a person for legal, administrative and other official purposes. A person’s legal birth name generally is the name of the person that was given for the purpose of registration of the birth, and which then appears on your passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, or U.S. Social Security Card.

Why use a preferred name?

There are many reasons why someone may use a chosen name. While the most visible may be to reflect gender identity, other reasons why someone might use a preferred name include using a nickname, going by an Americanized name, or distinguishing oneself from someone with a similar name.

Where must one’s legal name be used?

Legal/primary name is required for many government and university business processes including, but not limited to, financial aid documents, payroll documents, tax forms, transcripts, and immigration documents. Legal name will appear on the following: Official correspondence from the university such as financial aid awards, and contracts
Paychecks and pay stubs
Tax or benefits-related documents
Study abroad (travel documents, etc.)
Alumni office records
Purchasing Card
Registrar records
Official and unofficial transcripts
IA System
Accessibility Services system
Federal and state student reporting systems
Symplicity Advocate For legal name changes your new legal name will appear in all the places listed above though one’s former legal name will be stored in some university records and not redacted.

Where may one’s preferred name be used?

Many forms used by CSBSJU, such as Banner, will allow the user to include a preferred name in addition to a legal name. If you select this option preferred name will appear in several places including the Class Roster; Grade Roster; Student, Faculty and Staff Directory; and CSBSJU ID Card and the following: ID cards[1]
Degree Works
CSBSJU email and network account
Faculty advisee list
Residence life roster
Dean’s list
Athletic team rosters
The Hive
[1] There is a $25 charge for students and employees that request a new ID to preferred name. There is no cost for a legal name change.

Can I use any name I want as my preferred name?

Yes. You may designate any preferred name that you want to be known by in the university community. However, CSBSJU will not accept a preferred name that is vulgar, offensive, or obscene, creates confusion of the individual with another individual, is an attempt to avoid a legal obligation, or otherwise constitutes misuse or abuse of the preferred name.

How does one change their name?

Individuals who wish to change their preferred name may do so by following these instructions: Employee Name Change Procedure Student Name Change Request


CSB and SJU are committed to compliance with all applicable anti-discrimination laws, including Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ADA Amendments, and do not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, familial status, status with regard to public assistance, or other legally protected category or characteristic, in their education programs and activities, in their admissions policies, in employment policies and practices, and all other areas of the institutions. Harassment based upon an individual’s legally protected status is a form of prohibited discrimination.