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Inclusive Identity

UMass Dartmouth strives to be an inclusive community where all are welcomed regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, or background. Our mission is to promote and foster a university community that understands, respects, and values diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Through the UMass system's Inclusive Identity Project, students can now choose to securely enter their Chosen Name, Pronoun(s), Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation in the COIN student information system. Sponsored by the UMass President’s Office, Office of Student Affairs, and University Registrar, this project and the data collected will assist the university in designing, delivering, and promoting customized programs, services, and resources that support ALL students. 

Name definitions

Primary Name

A Primary Name is the legal name that appears on legal documents (i.e. passport, driver’s license, birth or marriage certificate, U.S. Social Security Card, official court order for name change, etc.). A legal name is required for certain offices which necessitate its use. These offices may include but are not limited to the Bursar, Financial Aid, Human Resources, Student Employment, Payroll, International Student & Scholar Center, and the Registrar for items related to financial aid, bill, paycheck, visa, transcript, and more.

Chosen Name

A Chosen Name is a name someone wishes to be known by in the university community that is different from the individual’s legal (primary) name. Students may choose to display a Chosen Name instead of their Primary Name in select university-related systems (i.e. COIN, class/grade rosters, myCourses, etc.) provided that the Chosen Name is not being used for the purpose of misrepresentation. Chosen Names that are not administratively possible to implement, including, without limitation, symbols or images, are prohibited. The university reserves the right to remove any Chosen Name without prior notice to the individual due to misuse or abuse of the Chosen Name policy, including, but not limited to, misrepresentation, attempting to avoid legal obligations, or the use of highly offensive or derogatory names. 

Degree (Diploma) Name

A Degree Name is the name a student wishes to appear on their diploma and in the commencement bulletin listing. 

How to change your name

Primary Name

To update your Primary Name due to a legal name change, please visit the Registrar’s Office located on the first floor of the Foster Administration Building or submit an inquiry for assistance. You will be required to provide one legal item of supporting documentation to complete this process. Examples include:

  • passport
  • driver’s license
  • birth or marriage certificate
  • U.S. Social Security Card
  • legal name change court documentation

Primary Name is used for official university records, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Legal documents
  • Student Account Statement (Bills)
  • Financial aid and scholarship awards
  • Transcripts
  • Enrollment and degree verifications
  • Student Employment documents
  • Employment and Degree verifications
  • Federal and State agency reporting
  • Human Resources benefit information
  • SEVIS (Immigration status reporting)
  • Health records
  • Paychecks, W-2s, or other payroll documents

Chosen Name

To add a Chosen Name, log into COIN Student Center, click on Personal Information Names. There you can edit your Chosen Name.

Learn more about adding or changing your name.

Who can view your Chosen Name?

Chosen Name may be displayed in the following systems and/or records:

  • COIN including Class Roster, Academic Advisement Report (including those granted Authorized User Access - parents, legal guardians, or other designees)
  • MyCourses
  • UMass Pass
  • UMass Dartmouth email (request alias via IT Help Case and select Access Management from the menu options)
  • Housing
  • Library
  • Advising
  • Dean's and Chancellor's List Postings
  • Alumni Relations

Important note: Chosen Name displays at the top of each page in COIN including Authorized Access view pages. This means if you grant parent(s), family members, legal guardian(s) or other designees’ access to COIN, those who have been granted access, as well as faculty and staff, may see your Chosen Name.


What is a pronoun?

A pronoun is a word that is used instead of a noun or a noun phrase to refer to individuals. Pronouns can be in the first person singular (I, me) or plural (we, us); second person singular or plural (you); and the third person singular (e.g., she/ her, he/him, they/them, ze/hir) or plural (they/them). Gendered pronouns reference someone’s gender: he/him/his or she/her/hers. Non-gendered or non-binary pronouns are not gender specific and are often used by people who identify outside of a gender binary. The most common set of non-binary pronouns is they/them/their used to refer to a single person (e.g., Jadzia identifies as genderqueer; they do not see themselves as either female or male). Other non-binary pronouns include ze (pronounced “zee”) in place of she/ he, and hir (pronounced “here”) or zir (pronounced “zer”) in place of his/him/her (e.g., Jadzia runs hir own business, but ze is more well-known as an author).

Why are pronouns important?

As a society, we commonly assume the gender of others by their appearance and indicate these assumptions by using gendered language, such as she/he, ma’am/sir, Ms./Mr., and ladies/gentlemen. This practice results in many individuals, especially trans and gender-nonconforming individuals, being misgendered, which can make them feel marginalized and/or invisible. As an institution committed to the inclusion of historically underrepresented groups and ensuring a respectful, safe, and inclusive campus for all members of the community, UMass Dartmouth is working to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to indicate their pronouns and have their pronouns respected.

What is the best way to ask someone which pronouns they use? You can ask, “what pronouns do you use for yourself?” or, “what pronouns should I be using for you?” It is always better to be direct! It is essential to ask for pronouns because you cannot assume how someone identifies their gender based on appearance. Using the wrong pronouns for someone may lead them to feel disrespected, invalidated, and marginalized.

  • What pronouns can I select in COIN? He/him, he/she (he/him & she/her), he/they (he/him & they/them), he/ze (he/him & ze/hir), she/her, she/they (she/her & they/them), she/ze (she/her & ze/hir), they/them, they/ze (they/them & ze/hir), and ze/hir
  • How can I update my pronouns in COIN? If you would like to add pronouns, log into COIN Student Center, click on Personal Information Pronouns. There you can add/edit your Pronouns
  • Where will pronouns appear? Class Rosters, Advisee Lists, Student Center, other administrative pages in COIN


Sex is the designation of ‘male’ or ‘female’, as assigned at birth and used in federal and/or state reporting requirements. In addition to M (Male), F (Female), the marker “X” is available to non-binary, intersex, trans, and gender-nonconforming individuals. Formerly, this category was listed as “gender” in COIN.

  • To view your Sex: Log into COIN Student Center Personal Information Demographic Information
  • To update your Sex: Contact the Registrar’s Office located on the first floor of the Foster Administration Building or submit an inquiry for assistance
  • Who can view Sex? Sex is displayed only to the student and select staff who must perform administrative functions or reporting when this information is required

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

Gender Identity

  • What is Gender Identity? Gender identity refers to an individual’s internal and central sense of gender. Gender expression is the external way of defining self and is separate from sexual orientation and sex assigned at birth
  • What gender identity values are in COIN? Agender, nonbinary, cisgender (non-trans) man, questioning or unsure, cisgender (non-trans) woman, trans man, gender fluid, trans woman, and genderqueer
  • How can I update my gender identity value in COIN? Log in to COIN Student Center Personal Information → Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation → Select a Gender Identity value and/or a Sexual Orientation value from the list provided and click, "save."

Sexual Orientation

Sexual orientation refers to an individual’s physical and/or emotional attraction to sexual or emotional partners with specific genders and/or sexes. 

  • What sexual identity values are in COIN? Asexual, pansexual, queer, bisexual, questioning, same gender loving, gay, lesbian, straight (heterosexual), and demisexual
  • How can I update my sexual identity value in COIN? Log in to COIN Student Center → Personal Information → Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation → Select a Sexual Orientation value from list provided and click "save."

Important Confidential Data Disclaimer: As part of its efforts to create an inclusive campus community and better align programs and services to meet the needs of our diverse student populations, UMass Dartmouth allows students the option to indicate their Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation in COIN. This data is considered CONFIDENTIAL and is secured in COIN. Only select Registrar employees will have access to information to assist students should they have questions or require assistance entering data in COIN. Responses to both these values will NOT be viewable by general university departments or staff. Aggregate data (percentages and category totals) will only be provided to assist the University in designing, delivering, and promoting customized programs, services, and resources that support ALL students according to their individual needs and interest. 

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