Chosen names to be displayed in new online locations for students and employees
BY LAURA SCUDDER COPY CHIEF
Following the original adoption of the Chosen Name and Pronouns Policy in 2019, the university is making updates.
According to an email sent Oct. 28 by Human Resources and Payroll and the Office of the University Registrar, chosen name will be displayed in the following locations for students:
- Account Summary
- Degree Works (Chosen Name & Pronouns)
- Financial Aid Dashboard
- Personal Information
- Purchase Textbooks
- Registration & Planning
- Student Profile
- View Grades
And the following places for employees:
- Employee Dashboard
- Direct Deposit
- Employee Profile
- My Teams
- Advising Student Profile
Mason initially adopted the chosen name policy given that a wide variety of people “elect to go by a name other than their legal first name,” according to Josh Kinchen, the director of LBBTQ+ Resources Center. Kinchen also co-chairs the Chosen Name & Pronouns Policy steering committee.
“This chosen name could be a nickname or a middle name. In addition, international students sometimes choose a more recognizable name in the U.S., and transgender people often adopt a name consistent with their gender identity,” he explained. “Any member of the Mason community who wishes to report a chosen first name and pronouns may do so under this policy via Patriot Web.”
These updates are happening now because Human Resources Information Systems aligned its resources with the Registrar’s technical team over the summer to collaborate on this change ahead of student registration for the spring semester, according to Senior HRIS Director Patricia Coray.
“It was important that we update the employee side of Patriot Web in conjunction with the student side of PatriotWeb for a more positive user experience. Therefore, HRIS collaborated with the Registrar’s technical team on the timing and configuration changes needed to implement Chosen Name throughout Patriot Web.
Mason adopted this policy in the first place to create a better environment all around for the community, Kinchen noted.
“Creating an inclusive and welcoming community at Mason is linked to our strategic goals related to retention, sense of belonging, degree completion, and becoming a Well-Being University,” he said. “Therefore, providing a means for students and employees to designate a chosen first name and pronouns that are visible in internal data systems is the right thing to do.
He continued, “In addition, it is vital for transgender, and non-binary members of our community as recently published research demonstrates the improved mental health outcomes for these students who are addressed by their chosen name.”
On the Chosen Name and Pronouns website, there is a list of application systems that are reviewed to display chosen name and pronouns — with some currently listed as “No (Pending Review),” meaning they are in the process of being reviewed.
“Depending on the system itself, we may be doing one or more of the following: working with the campus department who is responsible for the system to test its capabilities in communicating with the chosen name and pronouns fields in Patriot Web, working with the vendor for the software of that system to create fields that correlate to chosen name and pronouns, finalize testing of these capabilities,” Kinchen explained.
Once the review is complete, the system administrator lets Mason “know that all ITS processes are completed to display chosen name and pronouns,” he said.
However, university policy and certain laws make it so that chosen names cannot be used in certain systems.
“As a Virginia state employer, Mason follows federal law requiring new hires to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Form I-9 is in place to verify the new hire’s identity and employment authorization,” Coray said. “Also, official documents such as your W-2 information require your legal name for timely processing of your taxes.”
Coray noted that those who wish to update their chosen name and pronouns may visit the Registrar’s website.