Genders, First Names and Pronouns

From Help Wiki

Some direction for students on how to digitally represent themselves at Evergreen.

When you were admitted to Evergreen, you started with a recorded legal name and gender marker. In many cases this name and gender is absolutely important and cannot be substituted or changed except through a legal name and/or legal gender change. Some examples are official college transcripts, federal and state financial aid, payroll and tax information and the like. In systems such as these, we are required to use the legal name and gender. Using a chosen name or gender marker is not optional and is out of our control. In systems internal to Evergreen though, identifiers of people are not so absolute. It is an important Evergreen value to provide students the ability to choose how they represent themselves digitally, which may extend beyond this narrow interpretation of identity when possible. Some ways already exist for students (with help at times from their faculty) to control how their chosen name appears in some of our more frequently used systems.

Request a Chosen First Name

Registration and Records offers students the ability to have a chosen first name entered into the college’s student information system (Banner). Some Evergreen systems can display this information and other systems not so well.

Where your chosen name will appear

At this point in time, we know these systems are connected to, and can use the chosen first name information from Banner:

  • Timesheets and Paychecks– If you are a student staff and are paid by the College, your chosen name will display when you are logging your time or certifying your timesheet. Your legal name will display on your paychecks.
  • Evaluations– Your chosen first name will appear on the page where you write and submit your evaluations. No name (legal or chosen) appears on your academic progress or academic statement pages. On the faculty side, your faculty sees your legal name and gender on record. We must use your legal name and gender in your transcripts. However, your faculty may use your chosen name and gender neutral pronouns in the text of your evaluations. Here are the commonly agreed upon gender neutral pronouns faculty may use in your evaluations: To help those who read your evaluations, the faculty must reference your legal name in the first sentence. They may then use your chosen name throughout the rest of the evaluation. You should give careful consideration when requesting to use a chosen name and/or pronoun, as this choice will be permanently reflected in the narrative portions of your transcript.
  • Canvas – Your chosen name in Banner will automatically fill in Canvas if the “display name” in Canvas has not already been altered. You can go back at any time and change your display name in Canvas. More on Canvas further down in this post.
Where your chosen name will not appear

Evergreen has many systems that display student name, gender and/or username (what you use to login to Some are not currently able to display a chosen name. Some are required to display your legal name. Most obvious of these systems to the student are:

  • Evergreen email –Your assigned Evergreen email is based on your legal name at the time you were admitted. The College is working towards implementing a new email system, which will allow for more flexibility in how names are displayed in email.
  • Academic Statement– This document is the first page of your transcript and therefore is required to have your legal name in the header.
  • Class lists –Class lists currently display legal name. We are working toward adding your chosen first name from Banner to these lists.
What you can control - with or without requesting a chosen name

Some systems use Evergreen "usernames" as identification instead of Banner information. In these systems, people can update the displayed or chosen name in the profile information. These systems include;

  • Greener Commons – you can update your display name to whatever you want.
  • WordPress – This is the application that runs and Like Greener Commons, you can update your profile to whatever you want.
  • Canvas – If you have a chosen name on file, it will automatically display here unless you change it. Like Greener Commons and WordPress, you can change your display name to whatever you want. Here is the link on how you change your Canvas display name:

Formal Name Change Process

Students can go through the process of requesting a formal name change. This process is a legal change and, therefore, requires the necessary documentation to process. For more on that, see the resource page developed by Registration and Records on how to walk through the process of doing a legal name change with the college.

To reiterate, this is an imperfect system. We are working to actively improve this important service for students to be easier, cleaner and more predictable. As with many similar technical ecosystems where newer applications are built on top of many previous older applications, it will take time and resources to sort it all out.