Preferred Name Policy | MVCC | Mohawk Valley Community College
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Preferred Name Policy

A preferred name is a first name that you may choose to be called that is different from your legal name.  MVCC recognizes that many students, faculty, and staff prefer to use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves. As long as the use of this preferred name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation, the college acknowledges that a preferred name can be used where possible in the course of college business and education.

The college reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is inappropriate, offensive, or will cause harm to another person or group of people. This determination is made at the discretion of the offices of Admissions or Records and Registration upon submission of the required form.  Employees must contact Human Resources.  There is no charge to designate or change a preferred name, however the cost to get a replacement Student ID card is $5 ($10 for residential students). You may change your preferred name once an academic year and twice during your time at MVCC.

Please be advised that requesting a preferred name is not the same as legally changing your name through the courts. Wherever reasonably possible, the preferred first name is used in MVCC’s systems. Official transcripts, enrollment verifications, diplomas, third party database systems, paychecks, medical records, financial aid documents, federal immigration documents, all external communications such as hometown newspapers (president’s list announcements, etc.), or any other College business requiring legal needs will continue to use your legal/official name. The College will attempt to display the preferred first name to the College community where feasible and appropriate and make a good faith effort to update reports, documents and systems accordingly. To change the name that is printed on official academic records, such as diplomas or transcripts, students must contact the Office of Records and Registration and complete the process for a legal name change.  Employees must contact the Human Resources Office. Official and legal name changes require specific documentation.

You may use this form to request a preferred name: Preferred Name Request

Preferred Name FAQ

What is a preferred name?

A preferred name is a name that you choose to be called that is different from your legal first name. 

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Can any member of the Mohawk Valley Community College community set a preferred name?

Any student, faculty, or staff member may opt to use a preferred name.

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How do I indicate a preferred name?

If you are a student, submit a Preferred Name Request form to the Office of Records and Registration on either campus. If you are a faculty or staff member, submit the Preferred Name Request form to the Office of Human Resources. Forms must be submiited at least two weeks before the start of the semester.

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Can I set my preferred name to whatever I want?

Generally yes, but the college reserves the right to disapprove or remove a preferred name if it is inappropriate, offensive, or will cause harm to another person or group of people. Nonsensical names and/or symbols are not permitted for use as preferred first names.

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Where will my preferred name display?

Students:

  • Residential Life rosters
  • Census class rosters
  • Certain internal communications from the college to you
  • The display and user name for your Blackboard, Degreeworks, and email accounts
  • Your name announced at the commencement ceremony
  • ID card (legal name will appear on the reverse side)

Faculty/Staff:

  • ID card (legal name will appear on the reverse side)
  • Certain non-legal communications from the college to you

 The display and user name for your Blackboard and email accounts
 

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Can I use my preferred name for everything at MVCC?

No, your legal name will continue to be used in business processes that require use of the legal name, such as for official transcripts, enrollment verifications, diplomas, third party database systems, paychecks, tax forms, medical records, financial aid documents, federal immigration documents, all external communications such as hometown newspapers (President’s list announcements, etc). It is also not currently possible for anything but your legal name to appear in SIRS. The College will attempt to display preferred first name to the College community where feasible and appropriate and make a good faith effort to update reports, documents and systems accordingly.

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What if I wish to change my current preferred name to a new preferred name?

You may change your preferred name once per academic year and limited to twice during your time at MVCC.

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Is there a charge to change my preferred name?

No, there is no charge, however the cost to get a replacement ID card is $5 and $10 for residential students.

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Who will have access to my legal name?

Your legal name is accessible to the MVCC employees that are designated to have access to all or part of your student or employee records.

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How do I change my legal name with MVCC?

Students should bring two documents, including one picture ID, showing your legal name to the Office of Records and Registration (http://www.mvcc.edu/registrar/pdf/name-change). Faculty and staff are asked to submit their change of legal name to Human Resources.

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