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Preferred Name Policy

Student Policy on Preferred Names and Pronouns

Many members of the Hampshire community use names other than their legal names to identify themselves. As long as the use of this different name is not for the purposes of misrepresentation, Hampshire acknowledges that a “preferred” first name and pronoun may be used wherever possible in the course of a student’s education. Use of the preferred name instead of the legal name will be gradually phased in, except where the use of the legal name is required, such as payroll records and student transcripts.

Students should give serious consideration to the request to use a preferred name and/or pronoun, as this choice will be permanently reflected in the narrative portions of the academic transcript. Although students are generally free to determine the preferred names they wish to be known by, inappropriate use of the preferred name policy (including but not limited to avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation) may be cause for denying the request. The College reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is used inappropriately.

Preferred name requests will be entered via the Hampshire directory. Students will have a choice of displaying their preferred first name instead of their legal first name, or in addition to their legal first name. Authorized changes to preferred names will be almost immediate in some locations; others may take additional time based on system configurations.

In addition to the preferred first name, students may indicate a preferred pronoun on the directory to be displayed on course rosters. For students who have not indicated a preferred pronoun, the pronoun typically associated with their legal sex of record will be displayed. The only pronoun that can be used by faculty while writing evaluations is the one displayed in these rosters.

Changes to a legal name can only be made in the central records office and will be based on appropriate documentation, such as a court order or Social Security card. Students with legal name changes may request that their narrative evaluations be amended to reflect their gender identity, whether or not they also have a legal gender change. Such amendments can take up to 30 days to process.

Disclaimer: This policy does not form a contract of any kind and may be modified, changed, altered, or rescinded at the discretion of Hampshire College


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Central Records
Lemelson Building
Mail Code CR
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Fax 413.559.5736

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