Sudbury·Audio

Laurentian University adopts 'preferred name' policy

Laurentian University has implemented a new system it hopes will help students and faculty in the transgender community. It's called the preferred name policy.

For transgender students, getting system to recognize their community name can be difficult

Victoria Lacroix, director of Pride @ LU and computer science student, says that getting Laurentian University to recognize her community name- the name she was known by her peers- was difficult. (Samantha Lui, CBC)
A new preferred name policy at Laurentian University is helping transgender students and faculty change their names within the system. Victoria Lacroix joined us in studio to talk about the policy. She was behind the idea and the creation of the system. 6:36
Laurentian University has implemented a new system it hopes will help students and faculty in the transgender community.

It's called the preferred name policy.

The system was started to help those in the transgender community who may not have legally changed their names yet.

Victoria Lacroix, the director of Pride @ L-U, approached Laurentian with the idea because she faced challenges getting her name changed on university records.

Lacroix was unable to change her name, legally

While the computer science student was already known as Victoria by her peers, the name she was given at birth appeared in class attendance and school documents.

"I went through a transition myself and I hadn't gotten my name legally changed yet," Lacroix said. "I needed to have my name - the name that I was using on everything - changed because none of the students I was with knew what my legal name was. Yet, it was plastered all over the place."

"There was clear information that I was transgender," she said, "very easily available to students I was taking classes with. That was unnerving."

Lacroix was unable to change her name legally at the time.

But her concerns led her to connect with Luc Roy, the school's Chief of Information Technology, to come up with an solution - the preferred name policy.

Registrar to approve name changes 

Roy said once a name is approved and changed within the program, it will appear across the school system.

"We've actually done it in a systemic way where it's all automated," said Roy, "and when it's automated, you're less prone for errors."

Students who wish to have their names changed have to get approval from Laurentian's registrar.

Lacroix said she hopes the system will make the process easier for students, so they won't have endure what she did.

with files from Samantha Lui. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges