Home / Fall 2016 / Universities inplement new policy: Individuals have right to preferred pronouns

Universities inplement new policy: Individuals have right to preferred pronouns

Cassidy Nordstrom poses for a portrait on June 2, 2016 in Chicago. Nordstrom identifies as nonbinary - fitting into neither of the two genders - and uses gender-nonconforming pronouns. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Written by Hunter Terrell, Circulation Manager

Numerous universities across the nation have implemented a pronoun policy in which students are allowed to identify and specify who they wish to be addressed as, regardless of prior gender stigmas and limitations.

With this policy in full affect at universities such as Harvard, University of Michigan and Ohio University, all school faculty and staff members are expected to respect each individuals’ chosen pronoun and may face penalty for not doing so.

“I think it’s cool we have made it this far in society.  I’m proud to live in a time where people can identify as they please and be respected for it on more than just a personal level,” said Mallory King, freshman, sociology major.

“This shows that people are becoming more accepting, and we are progressing culturally and ethically,” said Marcus Haley, junior, biology major.

The State University of New York announced that it’s working on a data-collection tool to let students choose among seven gender identities, including “trans man,” ”questioning” and “genderqueer” (CBS News.com). Other universities working on similar plans include University of California and Boston University.

Unfortunately, there are some who do not support nor take this act of gender liberation seriously.

One student in particular, Grant Strobl, a junior and chairman of the conservative student organization at Michigan University asked to be referred to as “His Majesty.”

Strobl tells USA TODAY College that he doesn’t believe words like “ze” and “they” are real pronouns that should be used to refer to an individual person. (USA Today College.com)

Other students have also mocked this policy by asking to be called “daddy,” “goddess” and “your mom.”

It even got as far as the University of Tennessee being forced by upset state politicians to take down a school post early August that briefly suggested students to use alternative pronouns.

“There is disrespect, and then there is just being ugly. It’s rather inhumane actually. Just because it doesn’t specifically apply to you, doesn’t mean it doesn’t to the person next to you.” said Dallas Workley, sophomore.

Addressing individuals with gender-free pronouns is both inclusive and liberating for everyone involved. It gives people the option to be comfortable with themselves in a public place, rather than just at home.

There is obviously a reason why institutions have decided to implicate such policies and provide the choice to students and no one has the right to belittle those who participate.

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