Students can now update IDs to include their preferred name


Nicole Morsfield

Students can now update their ID cards to include their preferred name.

A major step has been made for the LGBTQIA+ students on campus.

Oakland University students now have the ability to update their identification card to include their preferred name.

Grace Wojcik, who has been the coordinator of the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) for eight years, said this has been in the works for a while. The GSC has worked closely with the ID Card Office to talk about implementing preferred names onto student ID cards. 

Its role has been to educate the campus community, offices and administrators about the importance of the preferred name policy and then implement the policy in all aspects of campus life.  

Wojcik said having an ID card that matches a student’s preferred name helps students feel safe and welcomed on campus. She said this is a huge step forward for the safety and privacy of OU students since IDs get used so frequently throughout the campus. 

“You’re swiping in to enter housing, you’re swiping in to pay for your meals, you’re using it at the library,” Wojcik said. “To have a name that doesn’t reflect who you are on there — and a name that could potentially out you — can be dangerous, and that’s really where the emphasis came from.”

Wojcik said she knows there have been students in the past who have experienced negative incidents due to not having their preferred name on their IDs, which caused unnecessary issues for the students. These issues can include verbal harassment and other bullying behaviors.

Maggie Phelps, assistant manager of the ID card office, said the office wants to match a student’s preferred name with their picture so that students don’t have to worry about potentially being outed anymore. She said the sense of belonging is very important to everyone on campus, where she wants everyone to feel comfortable and welcomed.

“The students that have come in and have requested their preferred name have been very happy about it and we’ve been happy to be able to have that service for them,” she said. “It’s made so many people’s days.”

Wojcik said many of the students on the staff at GSC have already gotten their new IDs.

The process of updating a student ID is very simple and quick — students just have to talk to a full-time staff member in the ID Card Office. If students need any guidance, they should stop by the ID Card Office or call (248) 370-2291. If students need any guidance or have questions related to preferred names in general, they can reach out to Wojcik at [email protected] or visit the GSC.