U Michigan Creates Web Page for Students to Easily Update Pronouns

by Blake Neff

The University of Michigan (UM) is launching a new web page that will allow students to update their preferred pronouns so school faculty and administrators never mistakenly use the wrong one.

Traditionally, English pronouns have been simple: Males use pronouns like “he” and “him,” while females use “she” and “her.” But of late, some people who identify as alternative genders (or reject the idea of gender entirely) have started to prefer alternative pronouns, such as “they,” “thon,” and “xe.” (RELATED: Vanderbilt Promotes ‘Ze,’ ‘Zir’ Pronouns With Absurd Posters)

Now, Michigan is working to accommodate those people, and announced as much in a campuswide email Tuesday afternoon. The school has just added an additional page to its student web portal that allows students to state what pronoun they want to us.

“Students can designate pronouns in Wolverine Access through the new Gender Identity tab within the Campus Personal Information section,” UM provost Martha Pollack and Vice President of Student Life E. Royster Harper said in the email. “Designated Pronouns will automatically populate on all class rosters accessed through Wolverine Access. Rosters pulled from other systems will not have designated pronouns listed. If a student does not designate a pronoun, none will be listed for them.”

“Asking about and correctly using someone’s designated pronoun is one of the most basic ways to show your respect for their identity and to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities,” they added.

The Gender Identity tab allows UM students to change their pronoun to whatever they wish at any time, opening up the possibility that a student could demand a new pronoun every single day.

The new tab is the work of a “pronoun committee” at UM that spent a year working on pronoun-related issues and included no fewer than eleven faculty and staff members.

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