Student Life Offers Preferred Names on ID Cards


Madison Venckus, News Editor

College of DuPage’s student life office offers students the option to choose a preferred name on school identification cards. Students can either write in a preferred name or nickname on the initial COD application or change their name through myACCESS.

“It’s gotten even easier now because in student life we have access to students nicknames online. Before we had to call up to the records office and confirm when students come in wanting different names,” Student Life Officer Jelymar Mejia said.

The majority of students who are taking advantage of this and putting their preferred names on ID’s are both transgender students and students who go by a nickname or their middle name. With nicknames and preferred names on class rosters as well, faculty can avoid misnaming or misgendering students.

“I identify as non-binary which means I don’t quite identify as a man or a woman. I’m exploring the possibility of a name change that would represent my identity best, and this [students putting preferred names on ID’s] can be a way to start this process prior to a legal route,” Former Pride Alliance President, Jacob Kent said.

The process to change one’s name legally can become expensive and time consuming. This is an opportunity for students to publicly represent who they are without having to go through that process.

“The majority of names that we have changed have been for transgender students. Sometimes people have nicknames and it’s just Elizabeth to Liz, but for transgender students its important to be able to put the correct name on there,” Mejia said.

Pride Alliance members have also become more involved in the safe zone community and the gender identity task force. This is a faculty committee that works on policies to make the campus a more welcoming place for LGBTQ individuals.

“I personally have found the faculty to be receptive to the needs of the LGBTQ community. More training is always needed as basic understanding of our communities experiences and needs is very important,” Kent said.

Currently, students are not required to have their preferred names approved, which may leave room for errors or students taking advantage of this benefit.

“Throughout high school, my nickname was always ‘Narty’ which is also my last name. So when I put ‘Narty’ in as my nickname on myACCESS it made my name on my class rosters ‘Narty Narty’… I know how to change it, and I was going to, but I don’t mind having my nickname in there because that’s what people call me,” COD student Manuel Narty said.

Students that are interested in putting preferred names or nicknames on their ID can access that through myACCESS. Although this option is available, aA photo ID with a legal name is still required at Financial Aid, the Testing Center and the Cashier’s Office. Diplomas and other school documents will also still use a student’s legal name. Students interested in having names changed are welcome to stop by student life or go on myACCESS for further steps.