In Support of Using Preferred Names

Resolution Number: RF16-350
September, 2016
Whereas: 
according to its mission statement, “San Francisco State University honors roots, stimulates intellectual and personal development, promotes equity, and inspires the courage to lead, create, and innovate”; and
Whereas: 
the mission of San Francisco State University also includes an “unwavering commitment to social justice that is central to the work of the university”; and
Whereas: 
the strategic plan of San Francisco State University identifies EQUITY as one of the five core values of this campus and states that our “unique identity is founded on our commitment to equity,” and that, “our commitment to equity fosters an environment of respect, diversity, support and dignity for all of our members--faculty, staff, and students;” and
Whereas: 
the strategic plan of San Francisco State University also identifies COMMUNITY as one of the five core values of the campus and states that, “we create the space for pluralism and counter stories,” and that we, “provide opportunities for community members to develop a strong sense of self-worth, care and respect for others;” and
Whereas: 
San Francisco State University recognizes that, many of its community members use names other than their legal names to identify themselves; and
Whereas: 
international community members have legal names from their native countries, but some choose to use western names to eliminate the mispronunciation of their legal name; and
Whereas: 
transgender, gender non-conforming, and students who do not adhere to the gender binary may be forced to come out to faculty, staff, and other students on campus due to their legal names being used for official University business, including identification cards, emails, and rosters; and
Whereas: 
the process of coming out should occur at the discretion of the individual; and
Whereas: 
the current practice, requiring the use of legal versus preferred names, subjects members of the transgender and gender nonconforming community to being outed without their consent; and
Whereas: 
the Academic Senate of San Francisco State University recognizes that LGBTQ, transgender and gender nonconforming populations, as well as international students are communities on campus that can be susceptible to harmful negative stereotypes, bias, prejudice and oppression that can create barriers to a safe learning environment; and
Whereas: 
Academic Senate of San Francisco State University acknowledges that a preferred name should be used whenever possible in the course of University business and education as long as the use of a preferred name is not for the purpose of misrepresentation; and
Whereas: 
many universities, including CSU Northridge, Humboldt State University, San Jose State University, Indiana University, and the University of Montana have adopted preferred name options that allow students to be referred to, identified, and known by their preferred name, instead of their legal name; THEREFORE, be it…
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate of San Francisco State University shares transgender and international communities’ concern regarding the use of preferred names; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate of San Francisco State University strongly encourages the university administration, faculty, and staff to review existing practices and systems of record (CS, iLearn, HRMS, etc.) to ensure all campus community members are provided with an opportunity to identify their preferred name; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the University administration, faculty, and staff be strongly encouraged to affirmatively use the preferred names of all campus community members; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the Academic Senate of San Francisco State University requests that the University Administration report on the implementation and practices of the on-campus use of preferred names within 6 months of the adoption of this resolution; and be it further
Resolved: 
that this document be distributed to the University President, University Provost, AVP for Academic Affairs Operations, Executive Director of Academic Technologies, AVP, Enrollment Management, University Registrar, and Director of Enrollment Management Technology, and all campus departments that interact with students directly or indirectly.