Policies & Procedures

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First Name and Personal Pronoun Policy Columbia-Greene Community College

Columbia Greene Community College (C-GCC) takes pride in fostering a safe and inclusive campus climate that is welcoming to everyone. The College recognizes that, as a community, many people use names other than legal names to identify themselves. This Policy allows members of the C-GCC community to self-identify first names and personal pronouns. This policy is consistent with Title IX federal law which protects against discrimination based on gender identity and expression and is currently recognized as a best practice for supporting members of college communities.


In support of its mission, the College has endorsed this policy, which allows any student or employee to identify a first name, in addition to the individual’s legal name, in C-GCC’s information systems. When required, Columbia-Greene Community College students and employees must provide government-issued documentation identifying legal names.


This policy applies to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Policy History

Effective Date: January 2022

Maintenance of Policy

Office of Human Resources, Office of the Provost, Office of the Registrar, and Office of Student Development.


a. First Name – A first name identified by a person as the name designated by him/her/them as an important component of identity. The first name may be different from the legal name specified on his/her/their legal documentation.
b. Legal Name – A legal name is a name specified on official government documents, such as birth certificates, licenses, passports, and tax forms used to verify identity.
c. Personal Pronoun – Personal pronouns are pronouns used by an individual that may include he, she, they, them, theirs. The pronouns may extend to any pronoun identification with which a person communicates that fully honors and respects gender identity.


Students, faculty, staff, and alumni who identify themselves by a name other than their legal name may request use of an alternative first name. As long as the use of the first name is appropriate for community standards (i.e., cannot be profane, lewd, or discriminatory), and not for the purpose of misrepresentation, the College acknowledges that a first name can be used in the course of College business and education, where feasible and practical. The College reserves the right to remove a first name if deemed appropriate.

The College is obligated to use the legal name for many official records and reports, including, but not limited to, student bursar accounts, financial aid documents, official transcripts, federal immigration documents, police records, conduct records, medical and health records, employment benefits and payroll records, billing records and reimbursement, official agreements and documents, professional licensure records, external communications, and for State University of New York (SUNY) reporting. Where feasible, offices that require  the use of the legal name will maintain a record of both the legal and chosen first name. Declaring a chosen first name does not change the legal name. C-GCC strives to create an educational environment where students may use a chosen first name wherever a legal name is not required on internal documents, communications, systems, and web portals. Chosen first name will appear on: faculty class rosters, Blackboard, Banner, Diplomas, Honor Certificates, and Student ID Cards. The College may create a new institutional email address and username to reflect the chosen name. In general, the contact name for email will be the chosen name while the email address itself will reflect the legal name of the individual. The College will attempt to display the chosen name to the College community where practical and appropriate and make a good faith effort to update reports, documents, and systems accordingly.

Enhancing the College’s information systems to incorporate the use of the chosen first name and personal pronouns will take some time and effort because of the complexity and interrelated nature of systems and record sources. Your patience is appreciated as C-GCC expands its ability to use chosen first names and pronouns in records and systems and work toward providing a solution for this important need.

To ensure accuracy in record keeping, the College requires students, faculty, and staff to identify themselves with the first name and ID number. When identifying, referring to, or requesting information about others, students and employees should use the chosen first name of the individual as well as the individual’s ID number.

Requests for use of a first name shall be limited to one request per academic year and two requests only over the course of the relationship with C-GCC. If the first name is changed after the issuance of an identification card, one replacement card may be requested at no cost. The previously issued ID card must be surrendered to the College upon procurement of a new card. The replacement ID card will have the chosen first name printed on the front with the legal name printed on the reverse.

Refusal to utilize an individual’s chosen name is discouraged and is considered a violation of this policy.

Identification of personal pronouns: C-GCC believes that pronouns are unique to each individual person.

First Name and Personal Pronoun Policy FAQs

Individuals prefer to self-identify with a chosen name for various reasons. Chosen names are used to communicate a preference for a middle name or a nickname, to ease pronunciation challenges, to distinguish identity, and the like. Changing a first name legally may be a much more cumbersome or undesirable process than selecting and communicating a chosen name.

Students may indicate a first name on their admissions application. Faculty, staff, and students also may
report a first name by entering the information in Banner. Using Banner Self-Service, individuals should
click “My Profile” then “Personal Information” and enter the chosen name into the appropriate box under
“Personal Details” on the form.

Chosen names should only include alphabetical characters. Using other symbols may prevent a chosen
name from appearing as intended in campus software. The College reserves the right to remove a preferred/chosen name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language or is being used for

Employees and students may update their first name by entering the new information into their Banner account. Using Banner Self-Service, individuals should click “My Profile” then “Personal Information” and enter their updated first name into the appropriate box under “Personal Details” on the form.

An individual’s chosen name will be used in lieu of the legal name wherever the legal name is not required.

Yes. Once a first name is reported or updated in Banner, individuals may obtain one new ID card at no cost,
provided the old card is returned at the time the new card is requested.

Students may contact the Office of the Dean of Student Development. Employees may contact the Office of
Human Resources. Alumni may contact the Columbia-Greene Community College Foundation Office.

Office of the Dean of Student Development
Phone: 518.697.6320

Office of Human Resources
Phone: 518.697.6330

C-GCC Foundation Office
Phone: 518.697.6368

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