Boston University students can change their names, pronouns in school records

Boston University is now allowing students to modify their names and pronouns in the school system.

The BU Queer Activist Collective, with assistance from university administrators, provided name-and-pronoun-changing guidelines for the Boston University Systems.

Boston University (BU) is now allowing students to modify their names and pronouns in the school system.

The move was revealed by BU student newspaper The Daily Free Press, which obtained a July 19 email from the Student Administration informing the LGBTQ+ community of the change. 

The new student services went into effect on July 18.

The BU Queer Activist Collective, with assistance from university administrators, provided name-and-pronoun-changing guidelines for the Boston University Systems. 

According to the guidelines, once a student changes their name in the system, their legal name will be replaced with the new one for BU's Online Directory, Google, and Microsoft Teams accounts, as well as ID cards, diplomas, and other university applications.

[RELATED: Legal names on diplomas make trans students unsafe, petition argues]

Pronouns are also changeable in various BU applications, though not as many as for name changes. 

The guidelines also provide templates for emails and conversations with professors about one’s chosen pronouns and names.

One sample conversation from the guidelines reads:

Another reads:

The guidelines also advise against “deadnaming,” using a student’s legal name instead of the name they associate with their chosen gender identity.

It is clarified in the guidelines, however, that attempting to change one's legal name on a diploma may hinder “valid credentials for employment and licensing.”

“Your official BU transcript and University record are verified by your legal first and last name, and if your diploma doesn't match it can have serious implications - if your diploma doesn't match your record name then technically it is deemed false and can greatly hinder degree verifications as a result.”

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: ‘Action could be taken’ against students using wrong pronouns at PPU]

“Various international governments and verification agencies will not accept a student’s diploma as an official document if the name does not match the name on their University record and passport,” the guidelines emphasize.

BU Queer Collective and associated administrators end the guidelines by warning, “If any SHS staff members are not affirming of your identity, please feel free to contact Nathan Brewer (he/him) on the Gender-Affirming Healthcare Team.”

Campus Reform reached out to Boston University, the BU Queer Activist Collective, and The Daily Free Press for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.