Title IX provides naming freedom students can choose first name

There are many Michaels, Jonathans, Samanthas and Roberts who simply want to be called Mike, John, Sam or Bob. They sit in class dreading to hear their names because they do not want to be referred to as the name they were given at birth. Then there are students who prefer to be referred to as a “him” instead of “her.”

These students want to create their own identities and do not believe their birth names or sex stay true to who they are. The 2017-2018 Title IX Preferred Name Program will change that.

This program will give students the opportunity to change their names on the school rosters so faculty members, such as professors and resident hall directors, will know how to address them.

This program is not only for students who want to be called by their abbreviated names, but also for students who prefer to be identified as another gender. “I think it is great.

We have a very strong trans community among our students,” said Lisa Evaneski, Title IX Coordinator. “I think for a long time students had to self-advocate all of the time with their professors.

Before class starts, during the class; so the fact that they will be able to have this change on their rosters will take a little pressure off of them, and give them more privacy.” This new program will have a positive effect on the campus.

Students who wish to be addressed by a name that they identify with will no longer have to cringe in a class of 100 students when a professor calls on them. They can now proudly scream “here” in front of all their peers.

This will help students gain enough confidence to make friends in classes and work better with classmates in group projects or class discussions. With this new program, residents of Oswego State do not have to worry about their resident assistants writing the wrong name on the decorations that hang on their doors in the resident halls.

Many residents hunt down their RAs to request new door decorations, or to just inform them of the name they prefer. Now, the RAs will know ahead of time. While some people are ecstatic over this change, some students have a more neutral outlook. “I thought about changing my name, but it’s my name,” junior Ulilioghene Stefy Agunu said. “I support those who want to do it, but I’ve lived 20 years with this name, so I’ll keep it.” Agunu brings up a fair point.

This program is not for those who take pride in their name, and who will confidently introduce themselves to others. It is for those who prefer another first name, who want to hide in class when professors take attendance, and for those who believe they cannot be defined by the name that was given to them.

This program will make students feel more accepted by the school and give them the confidence they were missing, which can result in higher academic success.

Photo: Taylor Woods | The Oswegonian