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Students tangled in name change system

Students+tangled+in+name+change+system
Veronica Trejo

Science club president Alejandra Torres is recognized by her middle name at Dallas College, but not by choice.

Time and time again, class material lists her as Erin instead of Alejandra. She filed a name change form with Dallas College, but it only corrected her name on eConnect.

“To have a teacher call it out on the first day of class because the roster is still printing the wrong name defeats the whole purpose of a name change form,” Torres said.

Students such as Torres find that Dallas College’s name change form creates more problems than it solves.

The switch to Brightspace brought consistency, but names still aren’t updated on Microsoft 365 or adjacent student software.

“When people are looking to email me and they type in Torres, they’re not gonna find my name,” Torres said. “That’s just counterintuitive.”

The form itself even states that names won’t be changed across platforms, raising eyebrows.

“I had many teachers last semester who I introduced myself as Alejandra, but they go into the textbook and they’re like, ‘whose Erin?’” Torres said.

For a while, Torres didn’t push to see a proper name change realized, but the issues piled on.

“It’s taken me three weeks to deal with this,” Torres said. “I’m like, ‘screw it.’”

Torres continued with a lengthy back-and-forth with IT, but a miscommunication nearly reverted all the progress she made. Although quickly clarified, it was another misstep in the process.

It’s frequent that English instructor Andrew Tolle has to redirect students to the name change form since every roll call raises hands commenting on their preferred name.

However, he found that some students have given up on navigating the name change environment.

“It gives this very scary warning that if you submit this form, you may have financial aid problems because your money may not get to you since it doesn’t match your name,” Tolle said.

Tolle has heard complaints as far back as 2017, and they’ve ramped up in his classes starting in 2022.

“Here we have these two new systems we’ve paid a lot of money for, and neither one is demonstrating the ability to go in and do a simple name change,” Tolle said.

Although Tolle’s advocacy for an improved system hasn’t let up, word from administration has been sparse.

“Sometimes it’s as simple as changing a Joshua to a Josh, but for some, sometimes it has to do with your trans identity,” Tolle said.

No matter the reason for a name change, the struggles are constant.

“If my chosen name is Torres, that should show up everywhere,” Torres said. “Otherwise, there’s no point.”

Now, Torres can look forward to not having the incorrect name read aloud during role calls, but that was due to being persistent in a process that initially sounded as simple as turning in one sheet.

 

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CARMEN GUZMAN, Editor in Chief
Veronica Trejo, Graphic Designer

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