Student Frequently Asked Questions

Chosen Name and Identity Practice: FAQs for Students

Virginia Tech recognizes that some members of our community use a name other than their legal name, and that all of us have and use gender pronouns to refer to ourselves and others. A person’s name and pronouns represent very important and salient parts of their identity, making it essential for the university’s records system to manage this information as inclusively and accurately as possible.

Chosen Name and Identity is an example of inclusive practices that are shown to increase students’ sense of belonging and improve their perception of the university. By implementing a Chosen Name and Identity practice, Virginia Tech joins over 258 colleges and universities that enable students to list their chosen name on campus records and documents. (Source: Campus Pride Trans Policy Clearinghouse

  • You can indicate your gender pronouns and/or chosen names through HokieSPA.
  • You can voluntarily indicate your gender pronouns from a drop-down menu of pre-determined pronoun options. Once you choose a pronoun, it will display on the class rosters that faculty receive.
  • If you do not indicate your pronouns in HokieSPA, no pronoun information will display on faculty class rosters.
  • You no longer need to submit a paper form for chosen name changes.
  • Requests for a legal name change through the Registrar’s Office still require supporting documentation
  • Gender Pronouns will display on HokieSPA faculty rosters.
  • Chosen Names will display in HokieSPA, on HokieSPA faulty rosters, in Canvas, and with most academic advisors.
  • After the Chosen Name and Identity practice is implemented, there may be some areas on campus that default to pulling from the legal name field in HokieSPA. We are committed to continuing to improve how different systems communicate with each other across campus.
  • Students’ chosen names will display in Guest Access areas such as grades and Canvas. Only those people to whom they granted access can see their chosen name.
  • If you share your FERPA code with others, your chosen name will be visible to those who have access.

The decision to list pronouns or chosen name in HokieSPA is a choice and not a requirement.

  • Mistakes may happen. Clarify your chosen name or pronoun, and thank them for respecting your stated identity.
  • If misgendering or misnaming persists please contact Byron Hughes, the Dean of Students Office, who will serve as an advocate for you.

The LBTQ+ Resource Center offers space and advising to student-led LGBTQ+ organizations on campus, as well as provides advocacy and education through programs such as LGBTQ+ History Month in October, Transgender Day of Remembrance in November, and Pride Week in April. A full list of LGBTQ+ organizations at Virginia Tech, as well as other campus and community resources are available on the LBTQ+ Resource Center page.

LGBT Faculty and Staff Caucus advances equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified people and their families through educational programming, social activities, public service, and outreach.

The Office for Inclusion and Diversity administers Safe Zone Training that is open to all students, faculty, and staff at Virginia Tech. Its Inclusive Pedagogy sessions and InclusiveVT Insights videos also address topics related to LGBTQ+ inclusion.

If you have technical questions about chosen name or gender pronoun roll out please email the Office of the University Registrar at registrar@vt.edu.