Chosen Name Information

Cazenovia College recognizes that members of our campus community may choose to identify themselves using a chosen (or preferred) name that is different from their legal name. Cazenovia College recognizes and respects chosen names as an important component of identity. All individuals who indicate a chosen name will be respected for this choice and their chosen name will be used on campus and changed wherever practicable on internal college systems and the Student/Employee College ID Card.

Any member of the campus community who wishes to modify an existing first name can do so by submitting a Chosen Name Form. Individuals who submit a Chosen Name Form on myCaz will be contacted by one of the co-chairs of the President’s Commission on Equity and Diversity for guidance through the process and resources as needed. Alternatively, individuals may email the co-chairs directly at diversitychairs@cazenovia.edu.


Submit a Chosen Name Form on myCaz

Individuals may wish to use a first name that is different from their legal name. This name is often referred to as a “chosen name”. Some reasons for a chosen name include:

  • Individual’s legal name is inconsistent with gender identity.
  • Individual primarily uses their middle name instead of their first name.
  • Individuals who go by a nickname significantly different from their first name.
  • Please note that nicknames that are common abbreviations of a first name (e.g., “Doug” for “Douglas”, or “Liz” for Elizabeth) generally do not use this form
  • International students or anyone who wishes to adopt an English language nickname during their course of study or employment.

Chosen names will be used in the following places:

  • Email Display Name
  • Course Rosters
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Canvas
  • myCaz
  • Self Service
  • Student/Employee ID

Due to federal laws, legal names must be used in the following places:

  • Transcripts
  • Student Account Statements
  • Enrollment Verifications
  • Financial Aid Documents
  • Paychecks

If you are interested in changing your legal name, please contact diversitychairs@cazenovia.edu for information and/or support.

Providing access to a Chosen Name Form is consistent with current Title VII and Title IX of federal law protecting students, faculty, and staff against discrimination based on sex, gender identity, and gender expression.

It is recognized as a best practice for supporting transgender and gender non-conforming members of college communities. Any member of the college community who wishes to use a chosen name other than their legal/primary name on a daily basis may utilize the Chosen Name Process.

Some reasons for a chosen name include:

  • Individual’s legal name is inconsistent with gender identity.
  • Individual primarily uses their middle name instead of their first name.
  • Individuals who go by a nickname significantly different from their first name.
  • Please note that nicknames that are common abbreviations of a first name (e.g., “Doug” for “Douglas”, or “Liz” for Elizabeth) generally do not use this form
  • International students or anyone who wishes to adopt an English language nickname during their course of study or employment.

All individuals who indicate a chosen name will be respected for this choice and their chosen name will be used on campus and changed wherever practicable on internal college systems.

Chosen names cannot be used on some documents if a student has not legally changed their name, and Cazenovia College is required to use legal names on these documents (e.g., financial aid documents, payroll documents, Visa records, responses to enrollment inquiries such as verification, and official transcripts and diplomas). If a student has legally changed their name, as demonstrated by court order, birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree or other legally sufficient documentation, the College will change these records, as needed, to reflect the change.

Chosen names may not be used for the purpose of misrepresentation, avoiding legal obligations, or otherwise in any manner that violates College policies or federal, state, or local laws. The College reserves the right to deny or remove any chosen name without prior notice to the individual due to misuse or abuse of this Chosen Name Policy, including, but not limited to, misrepresentation, attempting to avoid legal obligations, or the use of highly offensive or derogatory names.

All front end/public communications with regards to a chosen name will use the language “chosen name” and not “alias” or other words that may describe backend programming language.

All communication regarding questions about the chosen name policy or form will be directed to the co-chairs of the President’s Commission for Equity and Diversity. Professor Rachel Dinero, redinero@cazenovia.edu and Director of Multicultural Affairs and Residential Education Katiuzca Loaiza-Espinoza, kiloaiza-espinoza@cazenovia.edu.

To declare a chosen name, submit a Chosen Name Form on myCaz. You will be contacted by the co-chairs of the President’s Commission on Diversity and Equity who will guide you through the process, answer any questions, and provide you with any resources needed. You can also email diversitychairs@cazenovia.edu directly.