Ramapo opens applications for name change requests

Photo courtesy of Sharon McCutcheon, Unsplash

Last month, the Used Name Policy was adopted at Ramapo College, created to allow students to change their name on forms of campus identification to “ensure a positive and affirming environment.” On April 16, the application for student name change went live.

This policy was designed with a focus on transgender and nonbinary students as it will update a name from legal to preferred in the student information system. The used name application is different from the Change of Name form, which is designed for legal name changes. 

The application will allow students to update their first and middle names. If approved, a student’s name will be changed on various platforms, including course rosters, Archway, Connect, WebEx, Canvas, their campus ID, campus mail services and more.

A name displayed on a diploma may be changed, and current graduating seniors are allowed to apply for a name change for this reason. Soon-to-be graduates are advised to fill out the form as soon as possible. Any student that fills out the used name application will be allowed to choose whether their legal or preferred name is shown on their diploma.

Ramapo email addresses will also showcase the name change, but it is a more difficult process. A student will have to change their email address entirely, yet campus resources will be able to provide assistance.

The Dean of Students or a representative will review all name change requests. It is assured on the procedure listed that every person permitted to review applications “must complete training specifically geared to understanding transgender and non-binary individuals’ lived experience.”

While the college “reserves the right” to deny any name change applications, students may appeal this decision. The Name Committee, a committee currently led by psychology professors Dr. Leah Warner and Dr. Emily Leskinen and supported by the Director of the Center for Student Involvement Dr. Rick Brown, will review the student’s appeal for validity and make the final decision.

A student’s used name will not be highlighted on legal documents or forms. This includes official transcripts, hiring paperwork, study abroad and travel documents, admission records and federal immigrant documents. For this reason, any international students looking to submit a used name application must contact the Roukema Center before submitting it.

As of today, students can request an application by emailing Dr. Emily Leskinen at eleskine@ramapo.edu. To learn more about the full policy, click here.