Later this month, Seton Hall students will be able to change their first name to their preferred name on Banner, according to Dr. Alyssa McCloud, senior vice president of enrollment management.
According to Dr. McCloud, this name change will go to class lists and informal documents, classwork or quizzes for professors to address students correctly. It will not be used on official University documents as that is not legal. Diplomas, transcripts and financial aid records will not be affected by the first name change.
Autumn Bucior, the University Registrar, said the change came after the “request of SGA to afford students and other members of the Seton Hall community the opportunity to designate their preferred first name.”
Some students said they believe the change to be important. Isabella Laor, a freshman political science and history major, said she felt the change was a great way to allow students the ability to express themselves.
“I think it’s really cool,” Laor said. “I think people should be able to identify how they want to be addressed.
Charles Rubin, a freshman physics major, said he was indifferent to the change. “I usually just go by Charles, a lot of people call me Charlie,” he said. “However, it is my birth name and I’d rather be called that.”
Benny Duran, a freshman and secondary education major, said he did not mind the change personally, but it could be helpful for those who didn’t like their names. “This is a good thing,” Duran said, “They have the choice to be called what they want.”
Dr. Matthew Pressman, associate professor of journalism, said he was in support of this change. “I think it makes sense, it’s a helpful thing for students to be addressed by the name they want,” Pressman said.
He also mentioned that the University could go further. “There is a tool on Canvas that allows pronunciation and speech of names,” he added.
Student Success Advisor Brittany Gogates also expressed her support for this new policy. She mentioned that she had friends who would greatly benefit from it.
“I don’t have a personal connection to have one name preferable to another,” Gogates said. “But I had friends in college who really preferred one name over the other and it would’ve been very beneficial for them to have been able to have that displayed for their professor, administrators and staff prior to their first interaction.”
Some professors do not have to deal with any naming issues on platforms such as changing one’s name on Teams or Outlook. Dr. Madison Krall, an assistant professor of communication, said she had difficulties with this.
When reached for comment, Krall said, “I have experienced a few issues in attempting to use my professional name (Krall) versus my legal name (Crammer-Krall) across various SHU platforms since last autumn when I arrived.”
Krall also stressed the importance she felt the policy has. “I think naming practices are extremely important, as is how professors address their students.”
Associate professor of history Sean Harvey highlighted a potential issue, which is ensuring that professors are able to get ahold of the new policy as soon as possible to keep up to date with name changes.
“It seems like a very good idea to me,” Harvey said. “I can tell you that as a professor, I always want to call someone by what they prefer to be called by. Before this policy was in place, professors had to rely on what the roster says unless they already knew the student.”
Harvey also discussed students requesting to not be called by a certain name. “As a professor at Seton Hall, I’ve been approached on multiple occasions by students not to use a certain name, but to use another name.”
The exact date of the new name change policy at the time of this article is still unknown.
Victory Odundoyin can be reached at email@example.com.