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California Lutheran offers preferred names on campus cards

California Lutheran University is enabling its campus community to have preferred names on student ID cards. California Lutheran has enabled name changes on select documents since the 2016 fall semester, but this latest initiative now includes the campus card and student email addresses.

According to a report from Cal Lutheran’s student publication, The Echo, the university’s Campus Safety and the Registrar’s office have implemented the new changes to the already available name-change process, with the goal of making it more accessible and fluid.

“The preferred or first name will be either used or displayed with the legal name in the following systems: MyCLU Portal, Blackboard classes, WebAdvisor, Student Planning, Faculty Advisee List, Student Self-Service and Student Housing,” says David Hilke, Director of Campus Safety at California Lutheran.

Preferred names will also be reflected in the campus access control system, and won’t hinder access to facilities on campus.

“For access control requests, Campus Safety asks that the requesting party provide the student’s name and ID number,” says Hilke. “Campus Safety will then look up the student via their ID number and we will have access to their preferred name.”

Students who need a card reprinted to reflect their preferred name will not be assessed a reprint fee. Standard reprints for lost or stolen cards will continue to carry a fee.

The Cal Lutheran PRIDE club was was a primary contributor to implementing the preferred name initiative.

“We were fairly early in making it, at least based on my conversations with other registrars, we were fairly early in having a policy to allow students to choose their first name,” says Maria Kohnke, associate vice president of Academic Services and Registrar.

Preferred names on campus cards comes six years after the initial option for name changes at Cal Lutheran. Part of that roll out process was down to various campus offices needing to determine if they could accept preferred names for official documents.

“The decision came down to: did that office need to use the legal name, or was that office free to use the chosen name of the student, which is what everyone wanted to do,” says Kohnke.

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