Over the last thirty years, I have seen more repetition of my name generated by my alma mater than counting. Miss Cathy Ann Johnson, Mrs. Cathy Ann Johnson, Mrs. Cathy Ann Johnson Bowles, Cathy Johnson-Bowles. Once, I came across a special issue magazine about female leaders addressed to Mrs. Kathy Bowles, which provoked a sharp letter to the magazine’s editor, referring to the satire. He admitted that I was right and immediately said that he had nothing to do with creating mailing labels. I had to agree, but I told him to respond.
A few years ago, after I became so upset that one of my alma maters did not use my requested name, I told my then-husband to call the caller again and tell him I was dead. And to my surprise, he did it. Guess what happened? Shortly after this deception, he received a letter asking if I had left a will to the university in my will. Oh yeah, the organization went there. I’m not kidding you.
Eventually, the organization I took over was still alive and started sending me mail again. They continued their stubborn creative approach to greetings. When I divorced more than twelve years ago, I asked them to make a change. They did so. Then, a decade later, they called them “Mr. and Mrs.” Nonsense again. I called and asked for correction. How long will we see it until it changes into something else? Again.
After years of working in the higher education advancement and communications office, I know that I am not the only one whose name has disappeared. People often complain about it. Female donors and alumni also complain about having an initial relationship with the institution and receiving letters from their male partners. And being listed as “Mrs.” (Husband’s name). “Everyone laments, why can’t the institutions fix my name?”
Here are some possible reasons:
Official Student Record: Upon graduation, student information (excluding information about course work, grades, health and discipline activities) is shared with the advance office for alumni engagement, communication, and gift application. If students’ records (gender and name greetings) are incorrect, they will be wrong to proceed.
Living by name: While some organizations are interested in ensuring that almanacs are listed because they are making a living by greeting and modifying names, others require legal documentation to change a name on the system. The need to prove a living name legally is somewhat similar because many organizations easily change women’s names when they get married – even without a woman’s request or legal documents. Data management solutions should be found for the gender identity and living name of the organization.
Old manners and underlying biases: Fill in the data entry process. Data managers often follow old rules and assumptions. This is especially true when couples enter the system. If the progress office receives a check with the names of both men and women, the conference of “Mr.” And Mrs. , The woman is released, and / or the greeting reads “Mr. And Mrs. (male name). ”
In other cases, the person entering the data may be prevented from trying to apply a different rule for input when recording gay couples. They may also be biased against recognizing gay couples. Therefore, the couple’s records are not tied together at all.
The organization should stop using respect and greetings based on the old notions of gender binary, marital status and etiquette. Institutions should not blindly adhere to sexist or heterosexual practices as to whose name appears first in letters, envelopes, lists, or buildings. The primary component should be the person who has a direct relationship and / or who has contributed
Other types of underlying bias: Many organizations may not even train staff for a worldwide method of recording names. Therefore, names can be anglicized by excluding diacritical symbols. The difference between Mich’ele and Michelle is a significant difference for a person because it refers to tradition and identity. Other examples include the order of a person’s name or how many names are included. In China, last names come first, and Brazil uses two or more last names. This global name resource from the W3C Internationalization Working Group provides information on how different cultures interact with names.
Shadow Database: Constructive data is usually stored and handled by the Advance Services Office. The university’s internal departments occasionally ask the Progress Service Office (sometimes through the Alumni Relations Office) to provide them with a mailing list. The purpose may be to send out departmental newsletters or to ask for participation in mentorship and internship programs, career counseling, advisory boards, and strategic planning processes. The problem with these departmental databases is that they stand alone. If the central database is updated, this shadow database may not exist, and vice versa.
If you ask the department to fix the information, it can’t be fixed anywhere else. If you ask for progress to correct your name, it will be incorrect if the department does not receive an updated list. That’s why when you ask an area to update your name; This may be incorrect when you receive your next mailing. Even if you ask the alumni relationship office to fix the information, they are not usually the ones who change the system. Thus, the data cannot be updated.
Searching improperly, and bad mail is collected: To create a mailing list, the data manager needs to draw the correct fields of information. Leaving a specific field can mean dropping a living name or omitting some part of the name. For example, with my name, if Johnson Bowles is entered in a case as my last name (correct), it would be Cathy Johnson Bowles (and alphabetically under J). But if Johnson is entered as my middle name and Bowles is entered as a last name, there are two fields of information. Thus, if the query does not ask for the middle name and last name field, only the last name mailing will be addressed to Cathy Bowles (alphabetical under B).
There are many opportunities to make mailing mistakes. It becomes more complicated when someone with little experience works with data. For example, if someone incorrectly orders fields in a mass application and a couple has a different name, their names may be mixed. Stephen Long and Kathy Johnson Bowls could finish Stephen Johnson and Kathy Johnson Long.
Looking for data farming and “lost” alumniks: When organizations do not have current information or addresses for alumnix, they often hire companies to search for it. This information may or may not be accurate or only partially accurate. This is another way of changing or returning old or incorrect information.