PRP 4901 – Preferred Name Policy

Reviewed and brought forward by Student Life Committee
Reviewed by Secretariat – 12 February 2018
Issued by Bashar W. Hanna, Ph.D.
Endorsed by University Forum – 28 March 2018
Effective Date: Fall 2018


In accordance with Bloomsburg University's mission of being an inclusive comprehensive public university that prepares students for personal and professional success in an increasingly complex global environment, the University is issuing a preferred name policy. Bloomsburg University recognizes that many students use a first and/or middle name other than their legal name. Therefore, the University has established this policy and these procedures to allow students to indicate their preferred first and/or middle names to the University community even if they have not changed their legal names. While any student is welcome to use a preferred first and/or middle name, this option has been developed to respond to the needs of some international students, trans/gender non-conforming identified people and others who prefer the use of a nickname. These may include, but are not limited to, individuals who prefer to use:

  • a middle name or nickname instead of a first name;
  • an anglicized name;
  • a name to which the individual is in the process of legally changing; or a name that better represents the individual’s gender identity.

Keywords: preferred name, name change, legal name, surname, nickname, transgender


Student: Any admitted full or part time individual with undergraduate, graduate, non-degree or alumni status. Student status will continue as long as the student has a continuing relationship with Bloomsburg University.

Legal Name: Refers to the first and/or middle name that identifies a person for legal, administrative and other official purposes. A person's legal name generally is the name of the person that was given for the purpose of registration of the birth and which then appears on a birth certificate.

Legal/Given Last Name (surname): Legal last name used, which cannot be changed/altered within the university’s information systems unless it has been changed through a legal process outside of the University.

Preferred Name: A name designated in the University systems and communications as the preferred alternative to the individual’s legal first and/or middle name. Only first and/or middle names may be changed to a preferred 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 to change their name within the university’s information systems with a preferred first and/or middle name to be used instead of their legal name.

Requesting the preferred name: Students are free to provide their preferred first and/or middle name by which they will be known within our University’s information systems by completing and submitting the Bloomsburg University Preferred Name Form to the University’s Office of the Dean of Students. Forms can be found at either the Office of the Dean of Students or University Disability Services

A student must return a completed Preferred Name Request Form in person to the Office of the Dean of Students.

Where the preferred name will appear:

  • Student Identification Cards *
  • Official Student Email Display Name
  • Online Student Directory
  • Class and Grade Rosters (for students taking courses)
  • BOLT
  • My Husky
  • University Diploma
  • Press Releases
  • Social Media Sites
  • Other instances where a legal name is not required

*A one-time waiver of the fee to update the Student Identification Card with the preferred first name will be provided. Subsequent changes will result in the University’s standard replacement/loss ID fee as set by the University’s Card Center

Where a preferred name will not appear:

  • Legal Documents and Reports Produced by the University
  • Student Financial Records
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship Documents
  • Medical Records
  • Transcripts
  • Enrollment Verifications
  • Degree Verifications
  • Student Employment Documents
  • Employment Verifications
  • Employment Documents
  • Paychecks, W2s, and other Payroll documents
  • Benefits Enrollment
  • Third Party Database Systems

Restrictions/Limitations: The ability to use a preferred name is a limited accommodation of a preference. Preferred first and/or middle name requests will be denied or revoked when the name is deemed inappropriate including, but not limited to, avoiding a legal obligation, fraud, obscene language, misrepresentation, or misuse of this policy. Students will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with University policy and the Student Code of Conduct for misuse of this policy through the Dean of Students Office.

Legal Name Change Resources:

If you are interested in legally changing your first or middle name, below are a few resources to get you started and to assist in the process:

Bloomsburg University Non-Discrimination Statement

Bloomsburg University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, or veteran status in its programs and activities as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable statutes and University policies. For information regarding civil rights or grievance procedures and for inquiries concerning the application of Title IX and its implementing regulation, contact: Title IX Coordinator, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, Warren Student Services Center, 400 East Second Street, Bloomsburg, PA 17815; Phone: 570-389-4529; Email: Additionally, inquiries concerning Title IX and its implementing regulation can be made to the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights, Region III, The Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East - Suite 505, Philadelphia, PA 19107; Phone: 215-656-6010; Fax: 215-656-6020. The University encourages applications from historically under-represented individuals, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities and is an AA/EEO Employer.