Sarah Scott
Administrative Operations Coordinator

What we're doing:

We're changing terminology on MyCWU to more accurately and inclusively reflect the distinction between one's "Name" and "Legal Name," and working to ensure that one's "Name" is used consistently wherever legally possible in CWU communications, services, and interactions. This is an ongoing project.

As it appears here, "Name" is a person's self-identified name. "Legal Name" is the name that appears on a person's government-issued ID or other legal records.

Why we're doing it:

The Inclusive Names and Identifiers project addresses a variety of barriers to individuals in the CWU community feeling authentically welcomed and affirmed. The project began with addressing harm many members in the community have experienced through dead naming (the use of a name an individual no longer identifies with). As a campus community, we are committed to designing equitable, diverse, and inclusive spaces for individuals to authentically exist. It is important to honor each individual’s social identities in all forms of communication wherever possible, and develop spaces encouraging critical dialogue that is not at the expense of historically marginalized groups. Honoring someone’s true identity, beyond a legal name, actively supports them in feeling valued as a member of the wildcat community. This project serves as a stepping stone to reducing harm for minoritized communities and demonstrates our strength as a community.


Q: Why is there a legal name field as well as a name field in MyCWU?

Answer: Some individuals identify with a name other than the one that appears on their legal documentation.

Q: Do I have to add a name to the First Name field? What happens if I don’t?

Answer: If the First Name field is left blank, your legal name will be used instead.

Q: How often can I update my name in MyCWU?

Answer: Our system refreshes to reflect changes made to your account once daily.

Q: Can I put any name I want in the First Name field?

Answer: While CWU will respect your self-identified name, we reserve the right to remove any name without prior notice to the individual in cases including but not limited to attempts to avoid legal obligations, misuse, or abuse.

Q: Do I need to provide documentation when changing my name?

Answer: No.

Q: Will a change in my name affect my legal name? And vice versa?

Answer: Your name and legal name are distinct entries in our database, and as such, changing one will not affect the other.

Q: Which name will appear on my diploma and be used at graduation?

Answer: The name you input in the “First Name” field on MyCWU.

Q: Where will my name be used and where will my legal name be used?

Answer: In certain instances, we are required by law to use your legal name. Outside of those cases, the process of ensuring consistent, correct name usage across all our systems is underway. We appreciate your patience as we work to implement these changes across our institution.

Q: Can I get a new Connection Card to reflect my name change?

Answer: Yes. Your replacement ID will reflect this change. ID replacements may be subject to a fee.