Chosen Name Initiative
Respect and Recognition
Rutgers University recognizes that members of the university community use names other than their legal names. The university seeks to promote the comfort and safety of students, staff, and faculty members by utilizing chosen/preferred names in university communications and reporting, except where the use of the legal name is required by university business or legal need.
What is a Chosen Name?
A chosen or preferred name is a first name by which a person wishes to be known by in the university community that differs from their legal first name. A chosen name may or may not be associated with a gender transition.
Students are able to designate their chosen/preferred first name through the Registrar’s office, visit the ScarletHub to learn more.
Faculty and staff are able to designate their chosen/preferred first name through University Human Resources, review the frequently asked questions to learn more.
How to be an ally when a name change is associated with gender identity?
Using a person's chosen/preferred name is simple to do and it is a sign of respect. Here are a few things you can do to make our community more inclusive:
- Ask the trans person in your life their name or what they’d like to be called, just as you might ask someone their nickname.
- Use that name for them in all situations.
- Never ask a trans person to reveal their dead name to you.
- If you use the wrong name by mistake, correct yourself and quickly move on.
Commit to being more gender inclusive with your language and work to create spaces where all genders feel welcome and included.
How about using folks instead of guys? Or try using everyone instead of men or women. Addressing a more formal crowd? Try distinguished guests in place of ladies and gentlemen! It’s that easy.
Sign the GLAAD pledge stating that you will use gender inclusive language in your daily life!
Consider a few of the following resources for continued learning and engagement: