Student Affairs

Chosen Name Policy

Supporting Hofstra’s commitment to inclusion and recognizing that students may identify themselves by a name other than their legal name, we have established the Chosen Name Policy. This policy allows students to use their name of choice on select Hofstra communications and platforms, and to be referred to by University employees. The creation of this policy was result of recommendations the 2015-16 LGBTQ+ Taskforce and is supported University-wide. We encourage everyone to read the policy and reach out to Gillian Atkinson, Associate Director Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion (IEI@hofstra.edu) or Brittany Rhoden, Title IX Coordinator for Student Issues (StudentTitleIX@hofstra.edu) for more information.

With Pride,
Vice President for Student Affairs W. Houston Dougharty, Task Force Co-Chair

Chosen Name Policy

Hofstra University recognizes that students may choose to identify themselves by a First Name other than their Legal Name. For this reason, students may request the use of a Chosen Name where possible in the course of University business and education, provided the name is not for inappropriate purposes, such as misrepresentation or fraud. The request is made using the form discussed below. Students may also request use of a Chosen Name via the admissions process by indicating their Chosen Name on the admissions application. This is an opportunity afforded to all students and requesting use of a Chosen Name does not indicate that a student is a member of a particular cultural or identity group.

How to Request a Chosen Name

For students who wish to request a chosen name, please fill out the Chosen Name Policy Request form and e-mail or bring to the Office of the Registrar (206 Memorial Hall or Registrar@hofstra.edu). You will be notified through your Pride email account when your chosen name is updated in the University’s system. The processing of requests may take up to 10 business days.

Download the Chosen Name Policy Form

A request for a Chosen Name will not be approved if it contains inappropriate or offensive language, or is otherwise inappropriate, such as for the purpose of misrepresentation or fraud. In the event that a request is denied for one of the reasons listed above, the student will be notified in writing and may receive a Referral to Community Standards. The University reserves the right to remove a Chosen Name if used inappropriately, including if used for misrepresentation or fraud.

In the event that a chosen name is not displaying correctly after 10 business days from the date of a request, please contact the Office of the Registrar by emailing Registrar@hofstra.edu. Before doing so, students should have reviewed the chosen name policy to see where chosen name will appear.

Anyone who experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, can contact Brittany Rhoden, Title IX Coordinator for Student Issues at StudentTitleIX@hofstra.edu or 516-463-5841. For more information on Hofstra’s Title IX policies, please click here.

Where Chosen Name Will Appear

Please be aware where chosen name can and cannot be used. We encourage students interested in this policy to reach out to Gillian Atkinson, Associate Director Intercultural Engagement and Inclusion (IEI@hofstra.edu) or Brittany Rhoden, Title IX Officer for Student Issues (StudentTitleIX@hofstra.edu) for more information.

For information about legal name changes at Hofstra, please contact Student Financial Services and the Office of the Registrar, 206 Memorial Hall or 516-463-8000, option 2, registrar@hofstra.edu

For more information on legal name changes in the state of New York, please visit: https://www.nycourts.gov/courthelp/NameChange/index.shtml

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Hofstra University has designated student name as part of its directory information, which can be released without the student's written consent. More information about Hofstra's FERPA policies can be found at hofstra.edu/acdrec_ferpa. If students do not want Hofstra University to disclose directory information from their education records without their prior written consent, they must notify the Office of Academic Records/Registrar in writing.

Examples-Where Chosen Names will be Displayed:
The University will endeavor to display chosen names to the University community where feasible, except where the use of legal name is necessitated by University business and/or legal requirements. Examples of where a chosen name will be used include:

  • ADP Enterprise eTime
  • Advising Rosters (when systems permit)
  • Blackboard
  • Blackboard discussion groups
  • Class Rosters
  • Connect
  • DegreeWorks
  • Grade Rosters
  • Handshake
  • HofCard (at student’s option)
  • Pride e-mail
  • Residence Life Housing Rosters and Door Decorations
  • Public Directory (unless a FERPA information block has been requested) 
  • GetInvolvedHU
  • Mailings to a student’s home may contain chosen name

Examples-Where Legal Names will be Displayed: 
A Legal Name will be used in business and other processes or related systems that require use of a Legal Name.  Access to a student’s legal name will be limited to those with administrative need. The most common areas where Hofstra will use a student’s Legal Name are:

  • Admission Letters
  • Any Payroll or tax-related documents
  • Athletics Rosters
  • Diplomas
  • Department of Public Safety
  • Employment documents (e.g. paychecks)
  • Enrollment/degree verification
  • Financial Aid/Student Account (e.g. loan-related documents, refunds of credit balances)
  • International Student Affairs Documentation
  • Accounts Payable documents (e.g. student reimbursements)
  • Transcripts
  • Mailings to a student’s home may contain legal name
  • Select student-facing screens within the Hofstra portal