Policy 172: Student Names
Table of Contents
- Procedures for Legal Name Changes
- Procedures for Chosen Name Changes
- Procedures for requests to use a chosen name on official University documents
- Procedures for Legal Name Changes for Former Students and Alumni
- Procedures for Legal Name and Chosen Name Changes for Instructors/Lecturers
- Details of Chosen Name Usage
|Senate Approval Date:
||May 3, 2022|
|Next Policy Review Date:
||Office of the Registrar|
Toronto Metropolitan University (the “University”) is committed to fostering an environment of inclusiveness and supporting students' chosen form of self-identification and recognizes that students may choose to use names other than their legal names to identify themselves.
Students may, therefore, choose to be identified in the Student Administration System by the chosen first name that they would like to be addressed by at the University.
The University requires that students use their legal name on all legal records and official documents. All official documents produced by the University for external use, such as but not limited to transcripts, parchments, and enrolment confirmations, will state the full, legal names of students.
In order to further the University’s academic mandate and to protect the integrity of the records at the University, students are required to provide a complete and accurate legal name on their application for admission and/or other University-owned application processes.
The University is committed to both the proper protection and integrity of student records and students’ interests surrounding self-identification. Accordingly, requests to change a legal name must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation.
This policy applies to all students at the University. The policy will provide clear definitions for and the use of the legal name and the chosen first name.
The Policy supports the process for altering, deleting, substituting or adding a legal name or a chosen first name to a student’s academic record.
3.1. Legal Name (First and Last Name) – The name under which an individual is registered at birth or the name that the individual has assumed via change (i.e. official change of name, marriage). This includes Indigenous peoples who reclaim and use their Indigenous name. The legal name is stored in the Primary Name Type field in the Student Administration System and is ordinarily used on all official University documents.
3.2. Chosen Name (First Name) - An individual's chosen first name is the name the individual would like to be addressed by in the University community. The chosen name is stored in the Preferred Name Type field in the Student Administration System and is used for specific internal purposes.
3.3. Government-Issued Photo Identification – Documentation issued by an official government agency with authority that includes the individual’s photo image.
3.4. Statutory Declaration - A statutory declaration is a written summary of facts, which the declarant solemnly states to be true before signing the document. Statutory declarations may be used to declare something to be true when no other evidence is available and must be witnessed by a commissioner of oaths, justice of the peace, attorney, barrister, solicitor, notary public or some other designated official.
3.5. Student Administration System - Information management system used to manage student data and student academic records at the University. This system includes self-service functionality to manage student activities related to academic, financial, and personal information (RAMSS).
4.1. Senate Policy Framework
4.1.1. The values outlined in the University’s Senate Policy Framework are applicable and fundamental to this policy.
4.1.2. The University respects the importance of accuracy and integrity with respect to students’ official academic records. It is recognized that student records are an important source of information. To maintain the integrity of these records and related processes, appropriate measures and controls surrounding an individual’s legal and chosen name are required.
4.1.3 The Office of the Registrar is responsible for ensuring student records and official transcripts are a true reflection of students’ academic abilities, accomplishments and legal identity.
4.1.4 The Office of the Registrar is committed to creating an environment where all individuals are treated with respect and dignity, and supporting all students to reach their academic potential, including by facilitating the use of students’ chosen form of self-identification.
The student record is created and assigned a unique identifier, the Student ID number.
Student names and records are maintained in the Student Administration System by the Office of the Registrar in accordance with the University’s established protocols and guidelines.
The student record connects academic achievement with an individual’s legal identity.
5.1. Admission/First Registration
5.1.1. The student record is created using the information collected at the time of first application.
5.1.2 All applications for admission and/or registration purposes must clearly include a complete legal name.
5.1.3 Students may choose to enter a chosen first name at the time of their application for admission.
5.2. Student Administration System – Name Usage and Display
The student record in the Student Administration System reflects the complete legal name as provided by the student on the application for admission, first request for registration or from requests for name changes. It will include a record of former legal names recorded at the University.
Where more than one name is maintained on the system, only the most current legal name on file will appear on documents produced for external purposes.
For certain internal purposes, activities, systems, and related processes at the University, a chosen first name (if provided by the student) will be displayed instead of the legal name in accordance with applicable legal requirements and the University’s obligations and responsibilities.
The University may set constraints around accepted characters in names based on system requirements.
5.2.1. Legal Name
The legal name is the official name on the student record. The legal name is used on all official university documents, including, without limitation:
- Official Transcripts
- Graduation Award Documents (i.e. parchments);
- Financial Aid documents and processes;
- Enrolment and Degree verification documentation;
- Academic Appeal Decisions;
- Legislated Reporting to Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU);
- Offers of Admission;
- Letters of Acceptance for International Students (LAIS);
- Other records where the legal name is required by law or university policy
In some cases where a request to display the chosen name on official documents is accompanied by a statutory declaration, the chosen name will be used in place of the legal name where possible and appropriate. Students are advised that external organizations, licensing and accreditation bodies, other educational institutions, future employers and third parties may require proof that official documents are the legitimate records of the student in such circumstances. (See section 5.3.3.)
5.2.2. Chosen Name
The chosen name is used on university internal documents and for internal purposes such as:
- Class Rosters
- Grade Rosters
- Identification Cards (OneCard)
- Across internal university systems, where available (i.e. Learning Management System). (See Procedures Section 6 for details). Note: In the case of a student who is also a university employee, information transferred from other university systems such as the Human Resources systems may impact chosen name display outside of the Student Administration System
220.127.116.11. Students are responsible for confirming or modifying their chosen name on record with the University in the Student Administration System. Students are encouraged to make any changes before the academic term as class rosters/lists may not reflect changes made to chosen names after the start of the term.
18.104.22.168. Requests to include a chosen name must be submitted in good faith. The university reserves the right to request further information or documentation to facilitate the use of a chosen name.
5.3. Name Changes
5.3.1. Legal Name Changes
22.214.171.124. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the University of any name changes or corrections to their legal name.
126.96.36.199. Any requests to change all or part of a legal name on the student record by way of alteration, deletion, substitution, or addition must be supported by official documents verifying the correct information at the time the request is made. Requests for changes to the legal name on a student record will only be processed with appropriate documentation to substantiate the change.
5.3.2. Chosen Name Changes
Current students may request to add or modify their chosen first name and shall make such requests in good faith. Supporting documentation is not required, with the exception of the circumstances outlined in section 5.3.3, below.
5.3.3. Requests to use a chosen name on official University documents
The University recognizes that students are most successful when they feel safe, secure and comfortable at school and acknowledges that updating their student record to reflect their identity is important for many students, including transgender, gender transitioning and gender non-conforming students.
In order to request to use a chosen name on official University documents in place of the legal name, a student must provide either appropriate legal documentation or a Statutory Declaration may be filed by those who have no legal documentation. (See Procedures section 3)
1.1. Requests for a change or correction to the legal name on a student record must be submitted to Student Records in the Registrar’s Office using the process “How to Submit a Personal Data Change Request” outlined on the Student ID and Personal Information website and include applicable supporting documentation. You must include two of the following accepted forms of Government-Issued Identification, with at least one being a piece of Government-Issued Photo Identification:
- Canadian Passport
- Driver's License
- Birth Certificate
- Canadian Citizenship card
- Permanent Resident card
- Marriage Certificate
- Change of Name Certificate
- International Passport
- Certificate of Indian Status
1.1.1. All requests for change of name and copies of the supporting documentation will be retained permanently to the student record. The University collects, uses, and discloses personal information in accordance with Toronto Metropolitan University Notice of Collection and applicable privacy law.
1.1.2. Where an individual’s legal name is a single word, the name will be stored in the Student Administration System’s first name field with the standardized designation of ‘.’ (period) stored in the last name field.
1.1.3. If only an initial for the first name and/or middle name is provided, it will be followed by a ‘.’ (period) when updated to the student record (e.g. A. Smith or Al J. Smith).
1.1.4. Changes will generally be reflected in the Student Administration System within 1-2 business days and will be reflected across other applicable university systems within 2-4 business days.
1.2. Reclaiming Indigenous Names
1.2.1. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has launched a process (external link) for Indigenous peoples to reclaim their Indigenous names on identity documents.
1.2.2. Students who have reclaimed their Indigenous name may request a change to the legal name on their student record following the general procedures for legal name changes using the process “How to Submit a Personal Data Change Request” outlined on the Student ID and Personal Information website and submit the updated documents displaying their reclaimed Indigenous name as supporting documentation.
2.1. Students can submit their chosen name change request online via their Student Center in the Profile section under Confirm or Update Chosen Name, following the instructions outlined in How to Update a Chosen/Preferred Name.
2.2. Changes will be reflected immediately in the Student Administration System. Note that not all systems that rely on the Student Administration System update student record changes immediately. Changes will be reflected across other applicable university systems and processes as soon as possible.
2.3. OneCards issued to newly admitted students effective Fall 2022 will display the chosen name.
3.1. Students, including transgender, gender transitioning and gender non-conforming students, who have not legally changed their name and wish to use a chosen name on official University documents in place of the legal name may submit the (PDF file) Student Records Statutory Declaration Form for Change of Name as supporting documentation when submitting a (google form) Personal Data Change Form (external link) that can be found on the Student ID and Personal Information website.
3.2. Declarations for Change of Name must be witnessed, signed and sealed by a Commissioner of Oaths1.
3.3. The University will advise the student that where the name on the records is not the legal name of the student, external organizations, licensing and accreditation bodies, other educational institutions, future employers and third parties may require proof that official documents are the legitimate academic records of the student in such circumstances.
3.4. All requests for change of name and copies of supporting documentation, including the Student Records Statutory Declaration Form for Change of Name, will be permanently retained to the student record. The University collects, uses, and discloses personal information in accordance with Toronto Metropolitan University’s Notice of Collection and applicable privacy law.
4.1. The university does not normally accept requests for change of name following graduation but such a request will be considered where supported with appropriate documentation.
In those instances wherein the individual has graduated, the following procedures must be followed:
4.1.1. Any request for a new graduation award document (parchment) in a new name should be preceded by the completion of an official name change request to the legal name through Student Records. Requests for a new graduation award document will only be considered after the name change has been processed and is reflected on the student record in the Student Administration System.
4.1.2. Graduates may be required to return the original award document or to attest in writing to the loss or destruction of the document.
4.1.3. All requests for change of name from former students and copies of supporting documentation will be permanently retained to the student record. The University collects, uses, and discloses personal information in accordance with the University’s Notice of Collection, retention and applicable privacy law
5.1. If an instructor/lecturer is also a current or former student and has a student record in the Student Administration System, changes to their legal and/or chosen name on their student record will follow these same policies and procedures.
5.2. The Instructor/Lecturer (google form) Personal Data Change Form (external link) can be found on the Forms and Documents page on the Registrar’s Website.
6.1. In addition to class rosters and grade rosters in the Student Administration System, the chosen name will be used across university systems for internal purposes where available.
Examples include but are not limited to:
- Learning Management System (D2L Brightspace)
- Google Suite
Note: The legal name will continue to appear on other administrative pages in the Student Administration System. Faculty and staff should address students by the name displayed on class rosters, grade rosters, the Admin Center, and in D2L.
6.2. OneCards issued to newly admitted students effective Fall 2022 will display the chosen name if provided on the application for admission or added to the student record before submitting the OneCard application. Students who already have a OneCard with their legal name can request a replacement once their chosen name is updated on the student record (card replacement fees will apply)