Chatham University


Date: 12/05/2019

Chatham University is committed to providing an environment that is inclusive and affirming. As part of this commitment, the University supports students seeking to use their affirmed names.

Affirmed name is the name a person uses that represents (affirms in a positive way) who they are and how they wish to be referred to and identified. Whereas, legal name is the name that is reflected in legal documents, such as birth certificates, social security card, passport, driver's license and other such documents controlled by local, state, or federal agencies. Not everyone who has an affirmed name can change their legal name to their affirmed name.

Providing students with the option to change their name contributes to a safe and non-discriminatory college experience. Reasons for name changes may include identifying as transgender or gender non-conforming; experiencing stalking, violence, or other safety needs; being an international student or other student who wishes to adopt an English language name; being known by a name that is different from their legal name; or having a popular name and wishing to use a different name. Some records may require the use of legal names only, such as all of those associated with federal and medical documentation.

Due to either federal, state, or local policies, to comply with legal standards, Chatham University is restricted to the use of a legal name in the following documents:

  • Academic Records, Forms, and Documents including Transcripts and Official Class Rosters
  • Financial Aid Records, Forms and Documents
  • Payroll and Student Employment Records, Forms, and Documents
  • Student Health Insurance Records, Forms and Documents (if purchased)
  • SEVIS Records, Forms and Documents (if international student)
  • Admissions enrollment management Records, Forms, and Documents
  • Any other federal, state, or local records, forms, and documents that require the use of the legal name

If a Chatham University community member declines to recognize a student by their affirmed name, the student should contact the Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students for resolution purposes.

Additional, resources and advocates for students include:

  • Gender and Sexual Violence Prevention Subcommittee of the Diversity and Inclusion Council
  • Director of Multicultural Affairs
  • Director of the Women's Institute
  • Academic Deans
  • Title IX Coordinator and Deputy Title IX Coordinators
  • Executive Director of Counseling and Wellness Services
  • Assistant Dean of Students
  • Director of Residence Life

Students have the option to request that their affirmed name be used within designated Chatham University technology systems. To complete this process, students must submit the AFFIRMED NAME REGISTRATION FORM. This is an online application, which you will log into using your Portal credentials. Students should allow at minimum two weeks from the date they received confirmation of their affirmed name change request for necessary Chatham University systems to be updated. After the two-week period if the student encounters a situation where the affirmed name change has not taken placed in the areas noted in this policy, they should follow-up with the Office of Student Affairs.

The change from legal name to an affirmed name will be displayed in all electronic system where technologically feasible:

  • Student Portal Username
  • Office365 Username and Email Address (Chatham University email system)
  • Moodle Username (Chatham University Learning Management System)
  • Unofficial Class Rosters (An official class roster list students' legal name. However, Information Technology (IT) is able to provide a report that list students' affirmed name for faculty members)
  • StarRez housing system display name
  • Chatham University ID
  • Chatham University email display name
  • Athletic systems and websites
  • Institutional Advancement management systems