Name and Gender FAQs for Faculty & Staff

Be sure to check out the Name & Gender FAQs for Students section to gain a better understanding of the student name and gender policies and procedures.

It is important to honor our students’ and colleagues’ identities. Caution: Never assume a person’s gender! We have been conditioned to make assumptions about gender based on a person’s name or appearance, but these often do not tell the whole story.

Please be mindful of this when you interact with people and when you design assignments/activities that are unnecessarily gendered or binary (i.e. male/female, girlfriend/boyfriend, husband/wife, etc.).


In the current version of Banner, there is not a placeholder for personal pronouns. However, it is a good practice to introduce yourself with your pronouns and to ask those you interact with which pronouns they would like others to use for them (especially in contexts where pronouns are likely to be used to refer to individuals). If someone has not shared their pronouns, ask or use they/them when speaking about that person. Feel free to review this excellent resource on how to ask someone their pronouns.

Chosen Name

If someone has shared a chosen name that is different from their legal name, make every effort to use that chosen name in every context possible. Be especially cautious if the student is trans or nonbinary not to use their deadname (the legal name they do not identify as).

Employees and students should officially update their chosen name whenever possible. However, keep in mind that officially updating a chosen name can be scary for some and is a personal decision that must be respected. In addition, not every software integration used at Cypress College has been updated or has the ability to pull in a student’s chosen name. Even if an individual has not officially updated their chosen name or the system you are using does not include chosen name, we need to make every effort to confirm a student’s chosen name and use it in every context possible, especially if calling the student’s name out in front of others.

How/When should students update their chosen name?

Encourage any student who goes by a name other than their legal first name to follow the official process to update their chosen name. This makes class interactions much easier, as it is difficult for both instructors and classmates to use/see one name in some interactions (e.g. Zoom or in-person) and a different name in other interactions (e.g. Canvas discussion boards). We want to consistently honor our students’ identities in as many ways as possible.

If you have any questions that are not addressed on these pages, or if you’d like to be more proactively involved in serving our LGBTQ+ students, please feel free to reach out to the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison ( any time.

What’s the easiest way to share this information with my students?

We strongly encourage you to import the Name & Pronouns Information page into all of your Canvas shells. To import a Canvas Page with information and instructions for students, please go to Canvas. Select Commons from Global Navigation. Click Filter and select Cypress College at the very bottom. Then search for Name. Once you open this page, you’ll have the ability to Import/Download.

It would be great to share this information with students before the start of each new course so they have a chance to make changes prior to the start of the semester. This is particularly important for our transgender and nonbinary students who may be “outted” by the use of their legal name in the class setting.

What should I do if a student’s name doesn’t match on my rosters in myGateway and in Canvas?

First, give it a second. There is a delay between a student’s name being updated in Banner (which feeds myGateway) and in Canvas. This delay can take up to two business days (although it’s usually quicker).

If it’s been a few days and there is still inconsistency, it is possible that the student updated their chosen name in Canvas prior to this new procedure. When the chosen name process was first initiated, the college was not yet able to also change the student’s name in myGateway. If this is the case, please encourage the student to resubmit the Personal Information Change form so that myGateway will be updated to reflect their chosen name as well.

If there are still inconsistencies, please contact the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison ( or follow up with Admissions & Records (

I’m trying to search for a student in myGateway, but I can’t find them.

Currently, search features do not support chosen names. If you attempt to search for a student by their first name and no student is found, you can search by their last name only or by their Banner ID. This should produce a search result for you.

Please do not use the name in the search result when interacting with the student or with their classmates. They may not want others to know their legal first name. This is a privacy issue and could lead to outing a student and other serious problems for that student and is in violation of the District’s AP 5041.

What if I’m uncomfortable using a student’s chosen name and/or personal pronouns?

You’ll need to use them anyway.

It is important that students feel included and respected. Beyond that, campus employees are legally required to use each student’s chosen name and gender pronouns once they have been formally submitted following the college’s procedures.

If a student has followed the appropriate procedure, and a campus employee still is not respecting a student’s name and/or pronouns, the employee can be reported to HR.

Learning to use an individual’s chosen name and pronouns may be challenging for some; it can require some practice and getting used to. If you are struggling to use someone’s name and/or pronouns appropriately, please consider reviewing these helpful resources on how to use pronouns as well as what to do if you make mistakes.

How can I be more inclusive of trans and nonbinary students?

Include Your Personal Pronouns Wherever You Can!

  • All employees are encouraged to designate their personal pronouns in their email signatures.
  • All employees are also encouraged to designate their personal pronouns after their display name within Zoom. You can do this by going to your Profile at To the right of your name, click the “Edit” button. In the Display Name field add your pronouns (usually in parentheses) after your name. Then click “Save Changes.” You can also choose to edit your display name each time you use Zoom by right-clicking your video, selecting “Rename,” editing your name, and selecting “OK.”
  • Faculty can follow the same process as students to add their personal pronouns to their display name in Canvas.
  • All employees are encouraged to introduce themselves with their pronouns (e.g. Hi, my name is Jenelle, and I use she/her pronouns.) and to ask others when they introduce themselves (e.g. Nice to meet you! Which pronouns do you use? Or What pronouns should I use when I refer to you?)

I’d like to add my pronouns, but I’m not sure how to note them.

Most folks mark their pronouns by putting them in parentheses after their name.

Common designations are he/him, she/her, or they/them, sometimes designated simply as he, she, or they. Some individuals use a combination of the above pronouns, such as he/they, they/she, or he/she/they. It is also common to include various cultural pronouns such as el, ella, siya.

Everyone uses my pronouns correctly. Do I still need to share my pronouns?

If you’re willing, yes! We live in a cis-normative, binary society. We generally put the onus on those who may fall outside that cis-normative binary to bear the weight of creating new norms. The more people who choose to share their personal pronouns even when it may seem obvious or unnecessary, the more we normalize sharing and not assuming pronouns. I strongly encourage you to practice sharing your pronouns and to encourage students and others in your life to do the same. To learn more about the importance of pronouns, please check out

Can faculty and staff change their name and gender information too?

Yes and no. Let’s break that down.

AP 7120-13 gives employees the right to designate a chosen name, personal pronouns, and gender identification. The chosen name should be used for District records where legal name is not required by law. However, the implementation of processes is still ongoing, and it will take time and collective input to ensure that Chosen Name appears in all the places it should. If this is a priority to you, please reach out to the campus LGBTQ+ Liaison ( to participate in the work.

Currently, employees can update their chosen name, personal pronouns, and gender identification as follows:

  • Go to myGateway.
    • Select Employee (left hand side of page).
    • Scroll down to Employee Links (right side) and select Employee Dashboard (yellow button with red outline).
    • Select My Profile (blue button).
    • In the Personal Details section, select Edit (upper right).
    • Here you can update Preferred First Name, Personal Pronouns, and Gender Identification. (Note that legal information cannot be changed here; doing so requires court documents and must be done through Human Resources.)

Click Update.