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Preferred/Affirmed Name Use

To foster a campus environment that is inclusive and that encourages self-expression, Santa Monica College recognizes and provides a mechanism by which any current student may use a preferred or affirmed first name and a chosen pronoun on campus. We recognize that students may use a name that conforms to their gender expression or may go by a shortened first name or nickname. Students may use a preferred or affirmed first name, regardless of whether they have legally changed their name. 

We encourage SMC personnel to use students' preferred or affirmed names and pronouns in their daily interactions with students, whether the student requests it verbally or formally records their preference on their student portal and the name is integrated into our student information system.​

Effective January 23, 2020, students may request to use a preferred or affirmed name through their Corsair Connect account. This is optional. Steps on how to make the request are noted below.

Implementation

The preferred or affirmed name has been integrated in Corsair Connect, Canvas, and class rosters available to faculty. Systems used by College staff in their interactions and communications with students will integrate the preferred or affirmed name as these systems are updated. Integration will be ongoing and take some time to fully implement across campus. The student's legal first name will continue to be used where required by law, industry standard, or strong business need. This includes student employment, financial aid, admission, refunds and disbursements, transcripts, etc. Effective with Spring 2020 graduates, students will have the option to request their diplomas be issued with their preferred or affirmed name.

We trust students to choose a preferred name after careful consideration, with good intentions, and with best interests in mind. We do not anticipate having to deny a name change request or remove a preferred name. However, SMC reserves the right to reject inappropriate name use, including but not limited to when used for misrepresentation or to avoid a legal obligation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set my preferred/affirmed first name?

  • ​Login to Corsair Connect
  • Click the "Enrollment" tab
  • Click the "Profile/Preferences" option on the left-side menu
  • Enter your preferred/affirmed first name and indicate if the preferred/affirmed first name should be displayed on Canvas and on instructor rosters (yes/no).
    [If yes, your current instructors will be notified by email that the name change took place]
  • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click "Submit Changes"

Allow 24-72 hours for our systems to update.

 

How do I set my preferred pronouns​?

Pronouns are available for use only in the Canvas platform. To add yours:

  • ​Login to Canvas
  • Click on "Account" 
  • Click on "User Settings" and then on "Edit Settings"
  • Select from the list of pronouns
  • Click "Update Settings"


What is a preferred/affirmed first name?

A preferred/affirmed first name is a name chosen by an individual to use​ instead of their legal first name. Students may opt to go by a preferred/affirmed name that is different from their legal first name. This name will appear instead of their legal name on select college systems and documents. 


Can I change the preferred or affirmed name I recorded?

We trust students will choose preferred names after careful consideration, with good intentions, and with the best interests in mind. You may change your preferred/affirmed name on your Corsair Connect account if you wish to use another name, but only once per term. 

 

Where will my preferred/affirmed first name appear on College records and/or systems used throughout campus?

Your preferred/affirmed name will appear on:

  • Corsair Connect
  • Canvas
  • Class rosters used by faculty
  • Some administrative systems that student services programs use (this will happen over time)

 

Will my instructors be told about my use of a preferred/affirmed name?

It depends on your choice. If you indicated that you would like to use a preferred/affirmed first name on Canvas and class rosters, then all your current instructors will be notified by email just as soon as you make the request on Corsair Connect. This will be done to ensure that instructors can "match" you to the new name that appears on their rosters. 

If you did not indicate that your preferred/affirmed first name be used in Canvas and class rosters, then the instructors will not be notified and your legal first name will continue to be used.  


Where does my legal name appear on College records and/or systems used throughout campus?

Your legal name will appear on things such as:

  • Transcripts
  • Tax forms used in student employment such as I-9, W-4, M-4, etc.
  • Tax forms issued by the college such as W​-2, 1098-T, 1095-C, etc.
  • Any checks issued to you by the College
  • Any other place where we are compelled to do so by law
  • In administrative systems that student services programs use
  • SMC email address and network ID
  • SMC student ID card


How will my preferred/affirmed first name display on class rosters?

Your preferred/affirmed first name will be shown in place of your legal first name. Once you opt to use the preferred/affirmed name, it will replace your legal name. To illustrate:

Legal First Name format: 
“LegalLastName, LegalFirstName LegalMiddleName”
Example: Smith, Mary J

Preferred/Affirmed First Name format:  
LegalLastName, Preferred/Affirmed First Name LegalMiddleName”
Example: Smith, MaryJane J
Example: Smith, Joe J



May I use a preferred/affirmed middle or last name?

No. Preferred/affirmed name applies only to first names.

 

Can I set my preferred/affirmed first name to whatever I want?

Students may determine and designate a preferred/affirmed name they want to be known by. Preferred/affirmed names that contain inappropriate or offensive language, or if in the College’s judgment it is being used for misrepresentation, or if it violates Board Policies, it will be removed.

 

Do I have to provide and set a preferred/affirmed first name and pronouns?

No. Using a preferred/affirmed first name and pronouns is entirely optional.

 

How do I correct or change my legal name for college systems?

Students who wish to change their legal name must supply supporting legal documentation such as a court order, and complete the Name Change Form with the Admissions & Records Office. Information for changing a legal name is available through the California Courts website.

 

Can I change my SMC email address to match my preferred/affirmed first name?

Unfortunately, you cannot at this time. However, you may change your personal email address at any time on Corsair Connect. To change it:

  • ​Login to Corsair Connect
  • Click the "Enrollment" tab
  • Click the "Profile/Preferences" option on the left-side menu
  • Enter the new email address
  • Click "Submit Changes"

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How do I delete my preferred or affirmed name? 
Current students can delete a preferred first name by logging in to to Corsair Connect and going to their Profile/Preferences. If​​​ you are unable to do so, please go to Admissions and Records for assiatnce.


What happens if I stop attending SMC and I later reapply with a different preferred name?

Our automated application process will blank out the previous preferred name and you will then have to manually input the new preferred name on your Corsair Connect student "Profile/Preferences".


Can I request a duplicate diploma using a preferred first name?

You may request a duplicate diploma with the preferred first name. However, there is a $20 fee.