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One banana short indeed

December 4, 2007

Apparently my university registrar has a policy against accepting legal documents (but only in conjunction). Who knew? Mu partner recently did a legal change of name and then I assumed her last name through marriage. Perfectly normal – no problems. We asked the registry and then called the government to make sure that for me to change my name with banks/credit cards/etc it would be sufficient to provide the marriage certificate (which has my partner’s old last name) with her legal change of name form (which shows her current name). The marriage certificate proves that I am allowed to take her surname, and the legal change of name form shows what her surname is. This was enough for Royal Bank, TD Bank, Alberta health, NWT student loan, Canada student loan, Revenue Canada, university payroll, a new driver’s license, a passport, and a new social insurance card. It’s not enough for university registrar. They will only take one document at a time, they will not accept both of them together. Why? Policy. What policy? Policy.
According to them, the fact that I have a (legal) marriage certificate and a (legal) change of name form for my spouse isn’t enough for them to change the name on my file. The reason: why would it be enough? If we did this, everyone would come in and change their name! They want me to either get my name magically put on my wife’s legal change of name form (wtf?) or get a new marriage certificate. Fine, I’ll get a new marriage certificate, even though the government of Alberta told me I don’t need to, the government of Canada told me I don’t need to, it’s going to cost me $100, and will likely take 4 months or more. We argued and argued, and finally the woman at the registrar said she’ll call the university lawyer. Good. Better out of the university’s pocket than mine.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Dr. Jim permalink
    December 4, 2007 10:16 pm

    I’m very sorry for your troubles. There have been a number of cases in which I’ve marked essays etc. but not been able to find the student’s name in my grade book. Students then come to tell me that they had been married up to a year earlier, but the damn registrar won’t change their names. The ONLY thing to do is to write a formal protest to the registrars’s office, and cc it to the president. And write a NASTY letter to the meliorist, you are likely to get a good number of people who have had similar issues.

  2. Dr. Jim permalink
    December 4, 2007 10:17 pm

    PS have you seen “Constructive Insubordination” yet?

    I can set you up as student adminstrator, and you can have your say!

  3. Dan permalink
    December 5, 2007 3:16 am

    So, Homo academicus (please note lower case, since 1735) meets Calcaneus insuadibilis, subspecies ignoramus.

    I suggest that it should indeed go to the University lawyer (who, BTW, I have never laid eyes on). Maybe he, or she, will have more [common] sense.



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