Laurentian University adopts 'preferred name' policy
For transgender students, getting system to recognize their community name can be difficult
It's called the preferred name policy.
- Listen to Victoria Lacroix discuss Laurentian's new policy for recognizing name changes
- Laurentian University's new bathrooms break down gender barriers
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