Gender Identity/Expression and Sexual Orientation Resource Center

There are essentially two types of name issues; the use of a “Preferred Name” and an “Official Name Change.” Everything seems to work pretty well for a student who requests an Official Name Change.  Their new name appears to flow through the University systems well, although they may have to ask some departments to manually change their names in some systems, but there should be no resistance to this request because they have officially changed their name.  They do, however, have to request that their NID be changed for changes to their e-mail address to reflect their new name.

To Change Network ID and WSU E-mail

Students must contact Information Technology Services and request a change of their Network ID (NID) and e-mail address.  This will most probably only be done for students who have changed their Official WSU Name.  The request can be submitted to the ITS Help Desk by phone at 335-HELP (4257) or via a web form at, although the web form doesn’t look too promising for this use.  The request can also be submitted to Services and Accounts staff at Information Technology Services at 335-3377.

For the WSU e-mail system

Students should be able to log into their accounts and update their first name and their display name in the preferences/Account Settings menu item.  There were some mixed results among the testers. This step would be unnecessary, if the student was able to change their NID.

In the Blackboard System

Students can change their first names. A student would need to work with the Registrar’s office or with Matthew in GIESORC to do this unofficial name change.

In Active Directory

It should be possible for a student to change their First Name in the Display Name at  This is only helpful for those student employees who have a Central Exchange e-mail account.  The central Connect! Exchange service will list your name in the address lists with the new First Name you submit through this web page.  You cannot change your last name (without submitting an official name change request with the appropriate administrative offices) but you can specify how you want the first part of your name to appear.  Student employees or GAs may want to test this service.

For the CougarCard System

We will need to develop a request mechanism and standard for how Preferred Names will appear on CougarCards, but this is definitely achievable.  We are working on developing a proposal for a high level policy change.

For the Odyssey Housing Management System

We’ve spoken with the Directors of both Housing and Residence Life and they are supportive of implementing Preferred (Nicknames) in the Housing Management System for hall rosters.  I think the request process would be the same as for the CougarCard System.  However, this, as I understand it, will not be a trivial system change.  Student requests to Residence Life would help drive this change.