Using and Respecting Preferred Names and Personal Gender Pronouns

How we address and refer to each other directly affects our sense of belonging and our goals of being inclusive and valuing our diverse and intersecting identities on this campus.

As a community, we want to ensure that we respect and use the names and personal gender pronouns preferred and chosen by our peers, friends, and colleagues. Below is some useful information on preferred names and personal gender pronouns, and how to make them known to the campus community.

Preferred Name

Students, faculty, and staff may add a preferred first name to their academic or employee record to appear alongside their full, legal name. For students, a preferred first name will appear on course rosters, dean’s, advisor’s, and coach’s dashboards for students. For faculty and staff, a preferred first name will appear in the Campus Directory. Preferred names should be honored on Colgate’s campus by students, faculty, and staff.

Please note, however, that some academic and employee records (transcripts, diplomas, W2s, I-9s, forms, etc.) and financial information cannot accommodate preferred names and will use full, legal names only. Preferred names have no legal bearing. In the event that an individual legally changes their name, they must submit court documentation to the Office of the Registrar (students) or Human Resources (employees).

Personal Gender Pronouns (PGP)

PGPs provide one way for an individual to identify themselves and their gender identity/expression. Pronouns can be added to a student’s record so they appear on course rosters, dean’s, advisor’s, and coach’s dashboards. For faculty and staff, your pronouns will be listed on the Portal and in the department viewbook. Pronouns do not automatically appear in the Campus Directory, though faculty and staff have the option to edit their full directory pages to include personal pronouns. You can expect PGPs to be honored on the Colgate campus with other students, faculty and staff.

Currently, our system is limited to 5 pronoun options: he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs, ze/hir/hirs, and name only.

To Make a Change

Preferred first names and PGPs can both be changed by logging into your Colgate portal account. Under “My Contact Information” on the “My Information” tab, edit your information accordingly. Preferred names can be typed into the "Preferred First Name" field. You can also choose to record an audio clip of how to pronounce your first name. A drop down menu features the PGP options available to you.

Once you've made your changes, click "Submit Changes" at the bottom. This will send an email to the registrar's office or HR, and a staff member will adjust your record as soon as possible.

Contact Information