Preferred First Names
Keene State College recognizes that some people use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. In August 2015, Keene State College launched the option allowing transgender students and other students to indicate their preferred first name regardless of whether they have legally changed their name.
Once you’ve told us of your preferred name, that name will be used in all of the following Keene State College information systems:
Owl Card and Owl Card Portal
Advisee details (via WebAdvisor)
Residential life and housing services
Campus mail services
Commencement program and cards that announce out loud the names of graduating students
- Advancement/Alumni systems
Note: Currently, Student Planning technology does not recognize student preferred first names. The vendor is working on solution to expand the use of preferred names and the College is staying closely connected to vendor updates.
Legal last names will remain unchanged and will be included with preferred first names. Indicating a preferred first name for use at Keene State College does not constitute a legal name change. As a result, legal first and last name will be used in all of the following Keene State College information systems:
Financial aid and student accounts/bills
Payroll/student employment records
Federal immigration documents/visas
Student health forms
Enrollment and degree verification
How to let us know of your preferred first name
Fill out and submit the online Student Address & Name Change Form. Make sure you type your preferred name in the box labeled preferred first name.
After you submit the online form, you’ll receive an e-mail to confirm your request. Respond to that email in order to implement your changes. Your request will be implemented approximately four business days after you confirm the email. This confirmation is necessary to make sure it’s really you who requested the change.
- The IT Help Desk will call to let you know that your preferred first name change is complete. Visit the ID Office in the Zorn Dining Commons to receive your updated Owl Card. Keene State College will waive the $25 replacement fee for an Owl Card for students requesting a preferred name change during the 2016-2017 academic year.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do I have to indicate a preferred first name?
No, you do not have to indicate a preferred first name. This is a service for students who use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. Transgender students are encouraged to indicate a preferred first name.
2. Will my preferred first name be used at Commencement?
Yes, your preferred first name will appear on the Commencement program that is printed and handed out at the ceremony, and your preferred first name will be announced out loud when you walk across the stage. However, your legal first and last name will appear on your official diploma that is mailed over the summer.
3. Are there places where preferred first name will not be used?
Yes, your legal first and last name will be used in college business that requires use of legal name, including (but not limited to) financial aid, payroll, health forms, transcripts, and diplomas. Currently, Student Planning technology also does not recognize preferred first names. The vendor is working on solution to expand the use of preferred names and the College is staying closely connected to vendor updates.
4. Who will have access to my legal first name?
Keene State College employees who conduct college business with information systems involving legal first names will have access to your full legal name along with your preferred first name. Those employees are being advised to identify you in person by your preferred first name, but some college business and federal laws require the use of legal names. For assistance, contact the Program Support Assistant for LGBTQ Students, Hunter Kirschner, or the advisor to KSC Pride, Jamie Landau.
5. Can I refuse to disclose my preferred first name in directory information?
Yes, under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), you can fill out the Registrar’s downloadable Privacy Request Form, which will put a hold on all of the Keene State College information systems where preferred first name is used, including (but not limited to) the directory.
6. How do I change my legal name?
At Keene State College, you need to fill out the Registrar’s online Student Address & Name Change Form and supply legal identification documentation that references your new legal first and/or last name. Examples of legal identification documents include a driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport.
7. Where can I get more information about preferred first names at Keene State College?
If you have questions about the procedure, contact:
Dean of Students Office
If you have questions about diversity issues related to preferred names, or you are a transgender student and need assistance, contact:
Office of Multicultural Student Support and Success
Program Support Assistant for LGBTQ Students
Advisor to KSC Pride and Coordinator of Safe Space
Dr. Jamie Landau
Office: Media Arts Center #116