Preferred / Chosen First Name Process

What is a Chosen First Name?

A chosen first name is a name that you choose to be called. It is different from your legal or official name of record. SUNY Canton recognizes that some individuals may use “chosen name,” “lived name,” and/or “preferred name.”

Chosen first names are important to members of our campus community for many reasons. For some individuals, a chosen first name expresses their gender identity in a more affirming way. International students might choose to go by a westernized name, And some people are simply more comfortable going by a middle name, a nickname or a set of initials. Whatever reason an individual has for a chosen name, this policy communicates to individuals that they are recognized, accepted, and celebrated on our campus.

Allowable Name Formats

Many members of the SUNY Canton community use a first name that differs from their legal first name. Allowable name formats include (but are not limited to):

  • A shortened derivative of a name (e.g., “Sue” for “Susan”)
  • A middle name instead of a first name
  • First and middle initials (e.g., “A.J.” for “Andrew John”)
  • A name that better represents the individual’s gender identity
  • A name which the individual is in the process of legally changing

The college will not accept a chosen first name that is vulgar or offensive, obscene, or creates confusion of the individual with another person or group of people. Names perceived as such will be managed on a case-by-case basis between the individual submitting a request, and the Dean of Students office.


Where can my Chosen First Name appear now?

  • UCanWeb
  • RooSuccess
  • Brightspace
  • DegreeWorks
  • Student ID cards
  • Email
  • Diplomas – (list exact display name when applying for graduation)
  • Media releases regarding Honors lists
  • Letters home for Academic Recovery/Academic Suspension
  • Commencement program
  • Residence Life
  • Time and attendance
  • Handshake (can also adjust name directly on that software)
  • Roolife

A student’s legal/official name of record name will remain unchanged in all other college-related systems.

Who can change my Chosen First Name?

You are the only person who can change your name with the college. No one can submit a chosen name request on your behalf. If you list a chosen name on your application for admission to SUNY Canton, our systems pick that up. If you want to add or change your preferred first name, do so in UCanWeb (see below).

How do I change my Chosen First Name?

Students (Current and Newly-Enrolled Students) can make changes to a preferred Chosen Name in UCanWeb. View the How to Provide a Chosen Name webpage for step-by-step instructions.

Where will my legal/official first name of record be used?

  • Official transcripts
  • Enrollment verification
  • Paychecks and pay stubs
  • Medical Records (Medicat)
  • Financial Aid Documents
  • Student Accounts Documents
  • Federal Immigration Documents
  • Admission letter

The college will attempt to display an individual’s preferred name to the college community where feasible and appropriate, and make a good faith effort to update reports, documents and systems accordingly. If you find a place where your preferred name is not being used, please contact the Dean of Students office for assistance.

Can I change my legal name?

If you have legally changed your name, you must submit documentation to the Registrar’s Office to have it updated. You will need documentation, such as a driver’s license or social security card. Contact for details and include your student ID number.

Registrar's Office
Miller Campus Center - 1st Floor
34 Cornell Drive
Canton, NY 13617
Phone: 315-386-7616
Fax: 315-379-3819

Regular Office Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
8:00 am-4:30 pm
9:00-4:30 pm

Summer/Vacation Office Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
8:00 am-4:00 pm
9:00-4:00 pm