Preferred Names & Pronouns FAQs

1. What is a Preferred Name?

A preferred name is a first and/or middle name by which someone wishes to be commonly known if different from their legal first name. Unlike preferred name changes, legal name changes in campus systems must be handled by the Office of the Registrar or by Human Resources.

2. What are Preferred Pronouns?

Preferred pronouns are those that an individual chooses for themself and wants others to use when talking to or about them. The Queer Workplace Exchange for Employee Retention & Student Success has more details.

3. Can I set or change my preferred name and pronouns to whatever I want?

You can set a preferred name that you want to be known by in university systems instead of your legal name, where such usage is currently supported. You can set preferred pronouns to be used on class rosters for faculty. The University reserves the right to remove a preferred name or pronoun if it is inappropriate or being used for misrepresentation or to evade legal obligations. Inappropriate use of a preferred name or pronouns may be a violation of the Student Code of Conduct and will be referred to the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities.

4. Will my preferred name and pronouns be used for everything at the University?

We’re using preferred name in as many places as we can. Bear in mind that your legal name will continue to be used anywhere a legal name is required - on your diploma, official and unofficial transcript, and any documentation involving financial aid or student accounts. For some of these services, you may need to provide government ID containing your legal name (such as when picking up a check).

Right now, preferred pronouns are only being used in PeopleSoft on the class roster and faculty advising pages. ITS will be adding them to systems that use biological gender over the course of time, starting with the Student Health Center. If you'd like to see pronoun preferences added somewhere, please let us know!

5. Can I change my email address to match my preferred name?

Anyone who has made a change to their legal name or identity can request a change to their HSU User Name, which will change their email addressJust submit a request to the Technology Help Desk and they'll walk you through the process.  

6. May I request an HSU User Name that uses my preferred name?

Students who have made a change to their legal name or identity can request a change to their HSU User Name. Just submit a request to the Technology Help Desk and they'll walk you through the process. This option is in process for staff and faculty.

7. May I request an HSU ID card with my preferred name?

Yes!

8. Will faculty see my preferred name in Canvas?

Yes! It may take up to two days for the preferred name to display in Canvas after you make the change, but it will be there.

9. Can I specify a preferred last name?

No. Last names can be changed only as a result of a legal name change. You must file a Name Change request with the Office of the Registrar to do this.

10. Am I required to set a preferred name or pronouns?

No. Using a preferred name is entirely optional. You can change this at any time.

11. How long will it take for my preferred name to appear and be used by the University?

Once you set your preferred name in PeopleSoft, it will automatically appear and be used on the Class and Grade rosters right away. It may take a couple of days for the preferred name to appear in Canvas and other systems. FAQ 4 above has more information about limitations on the use of preferred names. Changes to gender pronouns will update in class rosters immediately.

12. Do I need to change my password when I set a preferred name?

Maybe. If your existing password contains your preferred name, your might have trouble logging out. Our password rules prohibit us from using our names in the password. If your password happens to include your preferred name, we recommend that you change it.

13. I still have questions. Who can I talk to?

You can contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@humboldt.edu or the Technology Help Desk at help@humboldt.edu

Return to Preferred Names page

Need Help?



 Self-Service Troubleshooting

Call (707) 826-4357

Walk in to Library 208

Help Desk Hours

Monday - Friday 8am - 8pm

Saturday - Sunday 12pm - 8pm

After hours emergencies:
Call UPD at 826-5555

System Status

Status System Est. resolution
Available All Systems

Full System Status Information