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LSU to allow preferred names on Tiger Cards

Louisiana State University is the latest campus to recognize student preferred names on the campus card. The university announced in a press release this week that LSU students will be able to designate a chosen name, and have that name printed on their Tiger Cards, beginning with the fall 2018 semester.

As reported by The Daily Reveille, a preferred name policy was requested by the university’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and the LGBTQ+ project, and was proposed in the Student Senate last October. During that process, student representatives from LSU looked to peer institutions Texas A&M University and the University of Alabama to formulate a proposal.

“Students having the ability to use their chosen name on their Tiger Card contributes to an inclusive atmosphere for all members of the student body,” said Dereck Rovaris, vice provost for diversity in a university press release. “Furthermore, it has been shown that having this type of policy in place benefits students’ overall well-being and health.”

In addition to better accommodating the LGBTQ community, the initiative is also expected to benefit international students who may use a chosen name that is different from their legal name. Students’ legal names will still be printed on the backs of all Tiger Cards so as to keep the credentials compliant with voter ID regulations in Louisiana.

In looking to other institutions’ policies, LSU considered some campuses’ inclusion of a form in the preferred name process that students must sign in order to implement a preferred name. These forms waive the legality of the student credential beyond campus use in exchange for having a preferred name printed on the card. This type of stipulation is intended to make the cards valid only at the university for the purpose of identification, and remove its validity as an official method of identification beyond campus walls.

“We are excited to be able to provide this option to students,” said Margot Carroll, assistant vice president of auxiliary services in the official press release. “This was initiated by students, and we are pleased to be able to help promote inclusivity and allow all individuals to feel welcomed at LSU.”

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