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Preferred Name Guidance
What is a preferred name?
A preferred name is any name a student chooses to use other than their legal name. For example, a student may wish to shorten their first name (e.g. Steven to Steve) or to be referred to by their middle name or a nickname.
Why is it important for students to have the option to use a preferred name?
The University at Buffalo is committed to promoting a campus community welcoming of a diverse faculty, staff and student body. UB recognizes that using a preferred name may be beneficial to a student’s experience at the university. We encourage students to use the preferred first and middle name fields in the HUB Student Center if they wish to be known as anything other than their legal name.
Who can enter a preferred name?
Students can enter their preferred name in the HUB Student Center. Students who do not have access to their student center may contact the Office of the Registrar for assistance with entering a preferred name.
If I fill in a preferred name, will it appear in all UB systems?
At this time, certain system and legal limitations prevent us from displaying a student’s preferred name on all systems used by students, faculty and staff.
We are currently working on system improvements which will display preferred names across more UB systems.
Presently, if students elect to enter a preferred name, it appears in the following places:
|Where Preferred Name(s) Appear||What Does This Mean?|
|Digication (ePortfolio)||Students will see their preferred name upon login.|
|HUB Student Center||If you enter a preferred name, you will see it when you log into your Student Center.|
|UBlearns||Students will see their preferred first name when they log into UBlearns. Once you have entered a preferred name in HUB, it will take one day for the name to appear in UBlearns.|
|HUB Faculty Center – Class Rosters and Grade Rosters||Faculty members see students’ preferred first and middle names on their class rosters and grade rosters so they can refer to students by their preferred names during class and easily identify students by their preferred names on the grade roster. Students’ legal names will display if a preferred name isn’t entered.|
|HUB Administrative Access (Student Services Center)||Student Service offices (e.g. 1Capen) will see students’ preferred first name when their record is identified in HUB. Staff will be able to use students’ preferred names when providing assistance.|
|Early Alert System (SSC Campus)||Staff will see preferred names when looking at student profiles.|
It is important to note that while UB takes great care in where preferred names display and when a preferred name is used, human and system error may occur, causing the incorrect name to display.
While the university is looking to expand where student preferred names will appear, they presently do not appear in the following locations:
- Office of Admissions application systems
- Housing office systems
- HUB administrative transaction screens
- Parking and Transportation systems
- Official correspondence to all student addresses
- Official reports, including SEVIS, SUNY and the National Student Clearinghouse
- UB Card legal name
- University Police systems
Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and offices within the university may purchase and utilize third-party software that does not use or is not compatible with preferred names.
When will the preferred name(s) I select take effect?
While a student’s preferred name will appear in their Student Center and class rosters as soon as the name is saved, it will take one to two (1-2) business day to appear on other systems, including UBlearns. Preferred names will display on grade rosters when grade rosters are generated.
What if I want to enter a name that is very different from my legal name?
Students may change their first and middle name to a name of their choice*. For identity verification purposes, students may not change their last name.
What if I chose not to select a preferred name?
Students are not required to enter a preferred name. If a student does not enter preferred name information, their legal name will continue to appear on all systems.
If I select a preferred name, can I change my mind later?
Yes. There is no limitation to the amount of times you can change your name.
How many times am I allowed to change my preferred name?
There is no limitation to the amount of times you can change your name*.
What if my legal name changes?
If your legal name changes, please submit the Student Change of Name form and supporting documentation to the Office of the Registrar so we can update your legal name on record. Legally changing your name will not prevent you from entering or changing a preferred name.
Will my preferred name display if I am a student who also has a faculty, GA, TA or other appointment with the university?
At this time, individuals who are both students and also have an appointment with the university will only see their student name change. Students experiencing difficulty with their faculty, TA or GA name through Human Resources should contact UB’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for resources and assistance.
What if faculty/staff do not refer to me by my preferred name?
Students who experience problems or discrimination related to their preferred first name may contact UB’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for resources and assistance.
Who should I contact if I have more questions about the Preferred Name Policy?
For additional information on the Preferred Name Policy, please contact the Office of the Registrar at 716-645-5698 or at UBReg@buffalo.edu.
*The Student Code of Conduct (PDF) prohibits individuals from using lewd, indecent or discriminatory names. Students who change their name in violation of university policies and/or the Student Code of Conduct will be notified via their UB email address and the name(s) will be removed. Students who repeat this violation will be referred to Judicial Affairs.
Last updated: August 06, 2019 10:34 am EST