Chosen Name and Pronoun Updates

At Seattle University, we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive community for all students. As part of this effort, we are providing students with the opportunity to tell us their name and/or pronouns, either through mySeattleU for current students, or in the admissions portal for applicants and new students.  

What can we expect?

Once a student provides name and/or pronoun information, we will begin sharing that information across many university tools and offices automatically. There are many systems that use name data, and it won’t be possible to immediately update all university databases. We have prioritized automatically updating the systems that have the greatest impact on communications with students.  

Student-provided names will initially be used for class rosters, email display names, campus forms, in the housing and residence life database, and in Canvas. As time and resources allow we will continue to make this information available to other systems that use name data in addressing students or other members of the Seattle University community.  

If you have questions, comments, or concerns; you can contact the Dean of Students.  

First Phase Systems:

  • mySeattleU

  • Canvas

  • Campus Card

  • Softdocs (Campus Forms)

  • StarRez (Housing and Residence Life)

  • ConnectSU

  • Email and Teams Display Names

  • Slate (Admissions Portal)

  • Handshake (New as of October 2023!)


Q: What is a Chosen Name? 

A: A chosen name, also referred to as a preferred name, is simply the name by which a person generally wants to be addressed that is different from their legal name.  

A: A legal name is the name of record that appears on legal documents such as passports, U.S. Social Security Cards, drivers’ licenses, or birth certificates. 

Q: If I am a new student, what do I need to do to set my pronoun and chosen name information? 

A: As part of the onboarding process for new students, your preferred first name and pronouns in the admissions portal will be loaded into your student record automatically. To update your information, refer to your admissions portal:

Note: This does not apply to Law students. If you are a student in the Law School, please update your information in mySeattleU.

Q: I’m not a new student, but I want to update my Chosen Name and/or pronoun information. How do I do that? 

A: You can update your Chosen Name and/or pronoun information in mySeattleU. If you had previously requested a change in your display name for email and Teams, updating the Chosen Name field in mySeattleU will overwrite it.

Q: How do I enter my chosen name if my chosen name has an accent mark or a special character?

A: Unfortunately, our database and campus systems do not consistently accept special characters. While we are looking into ways to work around these restrictions, we recommend entering your name without an accent mark or special character for the time being.

Q: I updated my Chosen Name in mySeattleU. How do I update my email alias to match?

A: Your email alias is generated using the initial name listed in the system. To edit an existing alias, please submit a name change form or reach out to IT Services.

Q: How do I delete my Chosen Name and/or pronouns?

A: Updates can be made in mySeatteU by deleting the field values and hitting save.

Q: I don’t see my pronouns on the list of options. Why can’t I enter them myself, or at least have them as a choice? 

A: Restrictions within our student information system require us to provide a pre-determined list of pronouns. In developing the list, we tried to make sure everyone would have at least one option that would prevent them from being misgendered or otherwise mislabeled. Providing a comprehensive list of every pronoun choice wasn’t possible, however, so we have included options like “ask me” or “use my name” to give students the opportunity to clarify how they wish to be addressed.

Full Pronouns List:

  • All/Any Pronouns 

  • Ask Me 

  • He/Him 

  • He/They

  • She/Her 

  • She/They

  • They/He

  • They/She

  • They/Them 

  • Use My Name 

Q: How will the name I provide be used? 

A: When you tell us the name to use, we will use it as much as we can. This means we have taken steps to automatically provide this name to the systems most likely to impact your experience as a student. Examples include your email display name and other systems that use Microsoft Active Directory, the Canvas system, university forms, the housing information system, and ConnectSU. New students will also see this name appear on their ID cards, and current students will be able to exchange their current ID cards for one using their chosen name. Whenever possible, we will also use this name in any communications sent to you by the university.  

However, there are two circumstances in which we will not be using the name you provided:  

  1. In cases where legal name is required, including financial aid forms, student employment records, visas and other immigration and residency records, certain medical records, etc. 

  2. When system or resource limitations prevent us from utilizing chosen name at this time.  

Q: How will my pronoun information be used? 

A: Pronoun information will be displayed in some systems, such as Canvas, to make it easier for all community members to know how to correctly refer to others. Pronoun information is not used in communications. You would never receive a message addressing you as “Dear They/She/He.” Pronouns differ from gender identity, and we will not use information about your pronouns to assign a gender identity to students in our student information system.  

Q: I see my Chosen Name and/or pronoun information being used in a way that doesn’t match what I wanted or expected. What should I do? 

A: We are doing our best to collect and use this data so that students can be known and correctly addressed. This work is complicated, and we may miss something. If your experience with this change is not what it should be, we want to hear from you and work together to find a solution. Please contact the Dean of Students to describe the issue, and we’ll make sure the right person gets back to you to figure out what’s possible.  


Need additional help? Submit a ticket in our new portal here: IT Service Desk Help Center