A new online system will be implemented for students, faculty and staff to specify personal information, such as pronouns, that will be displayed in online directories as well as new USF IDs.
The new IDs will include a signature, pronouns, preferred name in addition to a person’s legal name and a 211 phone number to call in case someone needs assistance from the Tampa Bay Crisis Center, according to Tampa Lt. Gov. Kiara Brooks.
The online system will be put into place in the near future to accommodate the addition of pronouns and preferred names, according to Christopher Akin, senior director for information technology with USF Communications and Marketing.
Akin said that once students enter their information into the system, such as their pronouns and preferred names, they will show up in most locations where a student’s information may appear.
“[They will appear in] MyUSF, campus groups and any online directories where a student’s information is shared,” he said. “We’re not talking about making things available that are not today, this is only additional information.”
The system is early in the works, so while an official name has not been given, Akin said it is best to refer to it as the Net ID system.
The changes made through the Net ID system will be reflected in student, faculty and staff IDs, according to Akin.
The new cards will follow a similar design as the previous IDs, such as the colors, picture placement and logo, but the location of personal information may differ. The back of the card will still have the phone numbers for the victim helpline, Counseling Center, SAFE Team and University Police, but the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay number will be a new addition to the list.
The new IDs were initially supposed to be released in May, Brooks said, but the time consumption of the project was underestimated so an official date is still unknown.
While the design is still in its early stages of development, a person’s preferred name and pronouns will be placed on the front of the card and their signature will be on the back, alongside their legal name. Emergency phone numbers will also be located on the back of the card.
Akin said there will be no additional charges to Student Government (SG) for the changes as of now, as only the template will be changed. A release date for the system has not been announced, but Akin hopes it can be completed and implemented by next school year.
The legal name has to be included, but preferred names and pronouns are prioritized to further ensure a more inclusive environment.
Development for the revamped ID cards began with the previous SG administration under former Tampa Gov. Spencer McCloskey and Lt. Gov. Zach Blair-Andrews.
“With the student ID cards, there are a good amount of changes that they proposed would … contribute to a more inclusive community here,” Brooks said.
Brooks said these additions will inspire positive change in terms of inclusive efforts for the university and its community as a whole.
“We need to further encourage students to use those preferred names and pronouns, and it’s important to take that extra step to ask for someone’s preferred pronouns, especially because you want this to be an inclusive and accepting environment,” she said.
“In order to overall change the expectation of what is required from our community, and how we need to treat each other and just be fully accepting of each other, it’s important that these pronouns, signatures and preferred names are put on our ID cards.”