The University of Kansas is introducing pronoun pins for students
Students at the University of Kansas are being offered pronoun pins to help beat misgendering.
The pins are being handed out by employees in the library it students as part of the library’s “You Belong Here” effort.
The university is hoping the move will attract prospective transgender students. “He him his,” “she her hers” and “they them theirs” pins are available.
Signs in the library read: “Because gender is, itself, fluid and up to the individual.”
“Each person has the right to identify their own pronouns, and we encourage you to ask before assuming someone’s gender. Pronouns matter! Misgendering someone can have lasting consequences, and using the incorrect pronoun can be hurtful, disrespectful, and invalidate someone’s identity.”
Rebecca Smith, the chief of communications and advancement at the library, has said workers can choose to wear the buttons but must give them out on demand as students ask.
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“We’ve told all of our front-line employees, if a student asks, give them a button,” Smith said.
“A commitment to support the voices of marginalised people is part and parcel to the libraries’ commitment to the values of the First Amendment,” added Kevin Smith, the university’s libraries dean.
In a web post last month, the uni encouraged tutors not to assume that all students want to be referred to as “he” and “she” – and to use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they” or “ze” where requested.
However, following a backlash from local and national media, the advice has since been pulled down from the university’s website.
DiPietro said he was “deeply concerned about the attention this matter continues to receive and the harm it has had on the reputation of the University of Tennessee.”