By Dulce Martinez
Students, faculty and staff from both campuses in the FDU community received an email by Dr. Uchenna Baker on December 20, 2021 regarding an update for the university’s naming policy.
The email starts by presenting the dilemmas that arise from class rosters utilizing the legal names of students. Some students no longer use their legal names, which prompts them to “face apprehension each new semester as they hear a name they do not use being called out,” said Dr. Baker via email.
In an effort to create a welcoming environment that supports and helps all students become more comfortable during higher education, there is now an option for students across both New Jersey campuses to update their first names on class rosters. Students in the Metro campus can access the request form here, while students in the Florham campus can access the request form here.
While Dr. Baker identifies the new update in the naming policy as small, she addresses its importance as a “meaningful step in creating a safe learning environment for our students.”
Dr. Baker credits these staff members for collaborating to initiate the policy change: Carol Creekmore, Saul Kleinman, Laura Grant, Christopher Trautman, Joseph Jones and Gabriella Buckley.
While not mentioned in the email, students also have the opportunity to choose the name they prefer on their degree when the time comes for graduation.
It must be noted that if a student chooses to change his/her legal name, the updated name will only appear on class rosters and Webcampus. The student’s legal name will still appear in: academic transcripts, Fairleigh 1Card, Financial Aid and Enrollment Services documents and systems, disciplinary records and official university correspondence.
Dr. Baker also took the time to meet with The Equinox for an interview regarding this meaningful initiative. She talks about the policy’s “behind the scenes” process, her gratitude for the staff members and much more.
Watch the interview with Dr. Baker below: