What is a preferred first name?

The SOU Preferred First Name function allows students, faculty and staff to specify a preferred first name that is different from their assigned first name for use throughout campus. The Preferred First Name takes the place of the assigned first name in various records in the system.

What records are affected?

The Preferred First Name affects the following records:

Google Apps (including the name displayed on received email)
SOU Student Directory
Class rosters
Advising Lists
Grade Rosters
ID Card (When requested)
Commencement Program

Where will my legal name be used?

There are certain systems that still require the use of your assigned first name.  These include:

Accounts Receivable
Financial Aid
Official SOU transcripts
Tax documentation
Legal documentation or correspondence

Additionally, unless a University-Issued ID card is requested, your assigned first name may be used with Dining.

How will my Preferred First Name affect the way my name is displayed?

The Student Information System will replace your assigned first name with any characters entered into the Preferred First Name field, maintaining both spelling and case.  Here are some things to know regarding how your name will display.

Entering “None” or “N/A” will result in the name “None Middle Last” or “N/A Middle Last”.  For instance, John Doe Smith will display “None Doe Smith.”

Entering a lower case name will retain that case structure.  For example, John Doe Smith, entering “john” as a Preferred First Name will display “john Doe Smith”

Entering a middle name as a Preferred First Name will result in the middle name displaying twice in places that use all three names.  John Doe Smith using “Doe” as a Preferred First Name will display “Doe Doe Smith.”

How do I change my Preferred First Name?

Your Preferred First Name can be changed at any time by clicking the following link:


Or, log into InsideSOU, click "Personal Information" in the grey box labeled "Personal Information," then click the pencil icon in the "Personal Details" section.  

What if I want my assigned first name on my diploma and the commencement program, and not my Preferred First Name?

To ensure that your assigned name appears on any graduation-related items, email graduation@sou.edu.

Can I change my email address to reflect my Preferred First Name?

Yes!  If your first initial has changed due to the use of a Preferred First Name, and you would like to update your SOU email address with the new first initial, please fill out the Account Name Change Request Form and our IT department will assist in getting your account name changed.

Please note: You must update your Preferred First Name in Banner (See "How do I change my Preferred First Name" above) before completing the Account Name Change Request Form.

Can I specify a Preferred Last Name or Preferred Middle Name?

Not at this time.  Only Preferred First Names may be specified.  To change or update your middle or last name, you will need to complete a Name Change Affidavit and submit it to the Raider Student Services.

What else should I know about my use of a Preferred First Name?

Your Preferred First Name is a part of SOU directory information, and as such is public information.  This name may be forwarded to internships and other professional organizations, and is the first thing that instructors may learn about you.  Please consider the use of this function carefully.

SOU reserves the right to remove preferred first names that violate SOU policy.

My SOUOne card still has my assigned first name, how can I change that?

BankMobile is limited in the name they can display on the card they issue.  Due to banking laws, your assigned name must be displayed on this card, and your preferred first name cannot be used.  However, SOU provides an option to use a university issued ID card in place of your HigherOne card for on-campus purposes.

This university-issued ID card may be used with housing and dining, including meal plans.

For information on obtaining an ID card with your preferred first name, please contact the Raider Student Services.

I have questions that aren’t listed.

For further information, please contact the Raider Student Services at 541-552-6600 or StudentServices@sou.edu.  Additional information is also available at the Queer Resource Center (541-552-8329 or qrc@sou.edu).