Mizzou allows 'preferred names' on IDs, avoids 'safety hazard'
Students at the University of Missouri are now allowed to use their preferred names in most official university capacities rather than their legal names in an effort to promote gender inclusivity.
While the move has been two years in the making, it is just now coming together with a program called “PeopleSoft,” which allows students to use their preferred names across the university system.
This means that students can now use a preferred name on their student ID cards, diplomas, transcripts, and even class rosters, which will likely require university professors to refer to transgender students by their preferred names rather than their legal ones in class, though Campus Reform was still awaiting confirmation of that from Mizzou at press time.
The Maneater, Mizzou’s student publication, reports that only two to three percent of all students will actually take advantage of the new policy, some of whom may not even be transgender students, since there are also many international students who use preferred names.
Nonetheless, the school is pushing the new system forward and hopes to have all university documents updated in the next few months, with preferred names being used on diplomas as early as the end of the fall semester.
One Mizzou student, Sterling Waldman, helped push the motion forward as a transgender student serving in the school’s student government.
“Not having people’s preferred name on an ID is a safety hazard,” Waldman said. “Being misgendered is a painful experience.”
Meanwhile, all staff and faculty will also be able to avail themselves of the new policy so long as they consult with an HR representative about the change.
Campus Reform has reached out to Mizzou for additional details about the policy, but did not received a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski