QM Name Change Policy

Date lapsed: February 2024

Liberation - inclusion - accessibility

Date lapsed: February 2024

Proposed by: Amelia Jones
Seconded by: Isidora (LGBT Rep QM), Zoe Binse (BL LGBT+ Soc President), Emily Woodroofe (BL Disability and SPLD Rep), Numa Ali (BLSA - VP Barts), Varvara Evgeniou (BLSA - VP London), Sarina Allan (Events Coordinator for BL LGBT+ Soc), Cecil Sheilds (BL LGBT+ Soc Member), Elicia Cherry (BL LGBT+ Soc Member)

Ongoing

 

What do you want?

Lobby the university to urgently change their name-change policy, to ensure that ALL students can change their names on university systems without providing ID.

Lobby the university to provide up-to-date and comprehensive guidance on this policy on their website, so students understand how to navigate this.

Ensure a similarly fair policy is instituted within QMSU itself (if not already).

 

What the policy should look like:
  1. Students should be able to change their names on all university systems without providing ID. This includes registers, MySIS, MS Teams, email, etc.
  2. This should be simple to do, for example by filling out a short form.
  3. This should be available to all students, including medical and dental students.
  4. The policy should be clearly advertised.
  5. The policy should be offered to all students when contacting the relevant student office about this.
  6. Training should be provided for staff so that they are aware of the policy and know how the process works.

 

Why do you want it?

Context:

  • The current policy requires a form of proof of name change (e.g. deed poll, passport, drivers licence) to change a student’s name on university systems.
  • This means that if students unable to acquire, or in the process of acquiring, said documents, they are unable to change their names on university systems.
  • The situation is worse for medical and dental students, who must provide a passport in order to change their name, and a simple deed poll will not be accepted. A passport can take months to order when changing your name, excluding external factors which may delay being able to apply for one.
  • There is currently a workaround for non-medical and dental students, where a student’s name can be changed temporarily without providing ID, however they have made this clear it is a short term stop-gap and has only been provided on the assumption that there is not much demand. Furthermore it does not help medical or dental students.
  • See my name-change guidance document for more information on the current policy and workaround here

Current Problem:

  • This has an extremely negative impact on trans students, who are currently being dead-named and misgendered at most teaching sessions. This has become even more apparent during COVID, when online learning is a larger part of people’s course (and therefore usernames are more visible).
  • This is a large scale problem, which affects many students.
  • From students I have talked to who are affected by this, they have said the current policy means they feel unsafe in classes and it makes it difficult for them to engage in their education fully. Many have been reluctant to go to classes due to this issue.
  • Additionally, the current system sends the message to trans students that the university does not value their safety, dignity, or rights. It is not possible to foster an inclusive environment at QM if the basic needs of its students are not met.

 

What impact will this have?

This simple change will allow students to go by their actual names during lessons, making the university a safer and kinder environment for these students. Students will be able to go to class without the fear of being dead-named, having to explain why their name is different on the system, worrying about what people are thinking, or that going to class will make them a target for transphobia. Such a basic change of policy will have such a transformative impact on so many students’ experiences at university.

 

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