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Massachusetts university provides faculty ‘tips’ for ‘eliminating’ mistakes like ‘pronoun assumption’


Campus Reform, Brendan McDonald

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s (UMass Dartmouth) Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality is providing faculty members with pronoun tips via its “Trans Inclusivity” page with the purpose of “supporting trans & nonbinary students.”

Tips include how to address one’s own pronoun mistakes, how to correct others who “misgender” a student, and how to deal with someone with unknown pronouns.

The goal of the tips is to aid in “eliminating unintentional exclusionary practices so that all students can perform at their full potential.”

[RELATED: Universities tell students to ‘Practice with Pronouns’]

If a faculty member uses the wrong pronoun or name, the Center advises that the mistake be briefly corrected because “taking the initiative to correct yourself saves the misidentified student from having to correct the error before it is planted in the minds of classmates or anyone else who heard the mistake.”

Similar advice is given for the scenario in which a colleague misgenders a student. Faculty are encouraged to correct the colleague whether the student is present or not.

“For example, if a colleague used the incorrect pronoun for a student, respond by saying: ‘I believe Gina uses she/her pronouns,'” reads the Trans Inclusivity page.

In cases where there is uncertainty as to someone’s pronouns, the Center says that making a “pronoun assumption” is “the worst option.” To find out someone’s pronouns to avoid misgendering them, the Center suggests either directly asking or introducing oneself with one’s preferred pronouns.

[RELATED: University of North Dakota provides students with pronoun guide, ‘gender closet’]

“This may be challenging at first,” the Center recognizes, “but a person who is frequently misgendered may see your question as a sign of respect that you are interested in addressing them accurately.”

Campus Reform contacted the Center for Women, Gender & Sexuality for comment. This story will be updated accordingly.

Republished with permission from Campus Reform

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