We recognize that community members have a right to use the name by which they wish to be referred. This may be a name other than their legal name. While we use the term “chosen name,” for many people, this is not just a preference. It is often the only name they use and is essential to their identity.
There are many reasons why someone would use a chosen name, such as a reflection of gender identity, to adopt an English language name, to decolonize a name and reclaim an Indigenous name, to reclaim a cultural name or use a name(s) that were gifted to them in ceremony or by family.
It is especially important for transgender and non-binary students whose university experience and well-being are negatively impacted when their preferred or chosen name is not used.
We strive to be inclusive and to promote the belonging and safety of all students by using chosen names across our online systems, except where the use of legal names is required by policy or government regulations.
Chosen/Cultural Names are Important at ECU
Honouring someone’s chosen name validates their identity and helps them feel they belong. It promotes inclusivity for all university students, staff and faculty.
At ECU, students are primarily known to staff and faculty by their chosen names. The Canadian Human Rights Code provides explicit protection for gender identity and gender expression.
Gender identity is each person’s individual sense of being a woman, man, both, neither or anywhere along the gender spectrum. The law recognizes that everyone has the right to self-identify and that intentional or deliberate misgendering is a form of discrimination.
Personal names and pronouns are fundamental ways we express gender and perceive gender.
ECU is committed to decolonization and recognizes that honouring a person’s choice to reclaim a name or use their ceremonial name is our responsibility in upholding Call to Action #17 by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC).
How do I update my chosen/cultural name in the different online systems?
It’s very easy to change to your chosen/cultural name within the various systems we use at ECU. Here are the key steps you need to take:
Can I change my name on my OneCard?
Initially, your OneCard is automatically issued with your legal name. However, if you follow the steps above, you can use your chosen name on your OneCard.
Please be aware that inappropriate use of chosen/cultural names, such as attempts to avoid a legal obligation via misrepresentation or the use of inappropriate language, will result in the denial and/or reversal of the request and can be disciplined through Student Conduct Policy 4.6.
What can I do if my chosen/cultural name is not being used properly?
You may still see your legal name in certain documents and systems at ECU. This happens due to the complexity of ECU information systems and the inability of some systems to share information. ECU is working to create a more unified experience that would only display your legal given name when legally required. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at email@example.com.
Students who want to make a formal complaint regarding their name use, please review Policy 4.7 Student Complaints and/or Policy 8.6 Bullying Harassment and Discrimination, and send a request to meet with the Program Manager, Violence Reduction + Incident Response, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the process for chosen/cultural names for student employees?
As part of your onboarding, you will fill out the payroll package, which asks for chosen/cultural and legal names. Your legal name will be used if you do not share a chosen/cultural name. Any student employee can reach out to email@example.com to update changes to their chosen/cultural name or legal name.
Can I update my name after graduation?
You may update your degree parchment if your name has been changed legally.
Alumni from the undergraduate and graduate programs can order a replacement degree parchment by filling in a Degree Parchment Replacement Request Form. Questions regarding replacement parchment requests can be directed to Records & Registration at 604.844.3876 or firstname.lastname@example.org.