Commitment to Personal Gender Identity

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Chosen Name and Identity

Antioch University fully supports all forms of diversity, including those associated with gender identity. To support all individuals in their expression of gender identity, Antioch encourages students, faculty, and staff to indicate the personal pronouns by which they wish to be addressed, to provide information if they wish about their gender identity, and to specify the name by which they wish to be known.

Privacy and FERPA

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) a student’s name, including one’s Chosen Name, may be disclosed to the public as “directory information” unless the student opts not to permit such disclosure by requesting a FERPA information block.


Antioch will display Chosen Names and nicknames to the university community where feasible and appropriate and will make a good faith effort to update reports, documents, and systems designated to use these names. Inappropriate use of a preferred name (including but not limited to avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation) may be cause for denying the use of preferred names. Antioch University reserves the right to disallow any selected name that is deemed inappropriate.

This page provides information, instructions, and FAQs regarding Antioch’s management of various elements of gender identity.

Chosen Names, Nicknames, Legal Names, Pronouns and Gender Identity


  • Legal Name: Name on birth certificate, driver’s license, passport, or social security card. Always includes first name and last name; may include middle initial or middle name. 
  • Nickname: First name that is different from legal first name. Often (although not always) a variant of first name, or use of middle name as primary name. Only applicable for first name.
  • Chosen Name: A name that is that is unrelated to one’s legal name to be used in place of legal name for all official communications, in the absence of a legal name change.

Guidelines for Use

  • Continued use of legal name: Some forms or procedures are legally required to use your legal name, particularly regarding financial aid, payroll, or other government-related issues.
  • Nicknames are the most common name alternative and should be used in most instances (e.g. Beth for Elizabeth)
  • Legal Name Changes should be processed in a timely way if your intent is to legally change your name. Doing so will ensure and simplify complete usage of your new name.
  • Chosen Name should be used if you do not anticipate changing your name legally, and it is important to you to have your chosen name used in most Antioch records (e.g. Matthew Light to replace Barbara Smith).
  • Review of Chosen Name request: Chosen Names and nicknames must adhere to database character standards used by Antioch systems. Names may not be used for purposes of fraud or misrepresentation. Antioch reserves the right to deny use of a Chosen Name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language. 
  • Use of Chosen Name: Antioch will endeavor to use a Chosen Name in all Antioch systems where use of the legal name is not obligatory. Some forms or procedures are legally required to use your legal name, particularly regarding financial aid, payroll, or other government-related issues. Foreign nationals should note: it is advised that international students consult with their Designated School Official regarding the potential impact of use of a chosen name.

 Procedures for Updating Your Information

  • Legal Name Change: If you have made a legal name change, submit appropriate documentation through the Registrar’s office (students) or Human Resources (employees)
  • Chosen Name: To add a chosen name to your record please contact the Registrar’s office (students) or Human Resources (employees). NOTE: Chosen name may only be changed once during a continuous enrollment in an academic program.
  • To enter a nickname, pronouns, and/or gender identity, visit the User Profile on Self-Service to make selections.

FAQs on Identity Elements

A Chosen Name is the name a student or employee wishes to be known by in the Antioch community that is different from one’s Legal Name. 

Gender Wiki: A chosen name is a method of which any individual may choose a preference of a name that is proposed by the person themselves or another individual. This choice is frequently utilized so that it fits neatly with the individuals‘ preferred gender.

“Legal Name,” as defined by the Department of Homeland Security for issues relating to driver’s licenses and identification cards, and the name which can be accepted by Federal agencies for official purposes, is the “individual’s first name, middle name(s), and last name or surname, without use of initials or nicknames.” 6 CFR 37.1, 37.3 That name might appear on a passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, U.S. Social Security Card, or an official court order of name change.

For foreign nationals, not U.S. citizens, the “Legal Name” is the name that is entered in the Machine-Readable Zone (MRZ) of a passport.

No, Chosen Name and Nickname are two different name types. If you wish to be called by a different first name, you may elect to use a nickname (e.g. Beth for Elizabeth). This will not appear on formal documents, but will be the primary name seen in Antioch systems.

No, use of a Chosen Name or nickname is optional.

No, documentation is not necessary to elect a Chosen Name. The student makes the choice. 

No, Chosen Name and Legal Name changes are separate. See information about Request for Name Change on the Registrar Google site.

Chosen Name will be the primary name seen in Antioch systems and will appear in all systems using AUDirect, in Sakai, on transcripts, diplomas, and other forms, systems, and documents. Other official forms and documents, such as those related to taxes, federal financial aid, or employment will retain your legal name, as required by federal or state regulations.

Submitted Chosen Names are subject to review and clarification. Students or employees who opt to use a Chosen Name provide a name that is representative of themselves. AU reserves the right to disallow Chosen Names that are obscene, use derogatory language, are not representative of the individual who submitted it, are used for fraudulent purposes, or in other situations deemed inappropriate.

Yes, your Antioch email address will update to match your chosen name. Your new email address will be an alias of your previous email address, your email contents will remain, and there is no need to set up a forward. Your Antioch ID number and password will remain the same.

Communication regarding your name change will not be sent to others. You should notify those individuals with whom you interact that you have submitted a request for a name update. It may take up to 7 days for your Chosen Name or nickname to appear in all places that are visible to students, faculty, and staff. 

The name in use at the time of graduation, withdrawal, or separation is the permanent name on the transcript. Please email [email protected] with questions regarding the status of your name on your transcript.

The name on record will appear in the commencement booklet. If you would like to make a change to the appearance of your name in the commencement booklet, please contact your campus Commencement team.

When students submit their graduation application there is an opportunity to indicate the name to appear on the diploma.

Students may change their chosen name only once during their continuous enrollment at Antioch. Nicknames may be changed at will. 

Employees may change their chosen name or nickname at will. 

Please note: Changing your official/legal name to a chosen name in University systems can have ripple effects throughout your daily transactions on campus. Multiple changes to your chosen name may lead to confusion regarding your identity, challenges in customer service, and interruptions in your ability to access some University systems.

Therefore, the decision to add or alter a chosen name should be made thoughtfully.

Current Students and Employees may view, indicate or change their nickname, pronouns, and gender identity via Self Service in AUDirect, under User Profile.


Gender identity is optional and will not appear in any systems. It is collected for informational purposes only, to assist Antioch in learning more about its student and employee populations, and in considering services. Access is limited to those staff members who are charged with handling other categories of confidential information.

Historically, the terms “sex” and “gender” have been used interchangeably, but their uses are becoming increasingly distinct. In general terms, “sex” is assigned at birth and refers to biological markers such as genitalia and chromosomes.

“Gender” is more difficult to define, but it can refer to the role of a male or female in society, known as a gender role, or an individual’s concept of themselves, or gender identity. Sometimes, a person’s genetically assigned sex does not align with their gender.

  • She/Her/Hers
  • She/They
  • He/Him/His
  • He/They
  • Ze/Hir/Hirs 
  • They/Them/Their
  • Use my Name as a Pronoun
  • Male/Cis Male
  • Female/Cis Female
  • Trans Male
  • Trans Female
  • Non-Binary
  • Queer

Best Practices with Gender Identity

How to proceed if you have concerns about use/misuse of gender identity

  1. Model best practice (clarify your pronouns and chosen name in your email signature, your zoom links, and your Sakai profile)
  2. If you are misgendered or addressed by a name other than your chosen name, offer a correction
  3. Encourage sharing of pronouns during group interactions

Talk with or email the the person mis-using your pronouns or name 

  1. If issue persists, review procedures for student grievance, and determine if you wish to file a grievance

If your legal name appears in a location that you believe your chosen name should appear, let us know.

  1. Please complete this form to provide information about where you are seeing your legal name instead of your chosen name
  2. Your information will be reviewed, and you will receive a response letting you know if it will be modified, or if your legal name must appear for legal or regulatory purposes.
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