The University should encourage students to display pronouns on University accounts 

Passed: March 2021 (16th)

What do you want? / Why do you want it? 

Creating an inclusive university environment is something I regard to be of chief importance. Under the umbrella term of inclusivity, lies gender inclusivity.

In my opinion, the University should actively encourage students to display their pronouns on their university accounts - forename surname (pronoun/pronoun) - and email footers. My reasoning is as follows:

Making presenting your pronouns a thing that most students do makes transgender people feel less singled-out, creating greater inclusivity. When I have spoken to some of my Trans friends before, they have told me that often when informing people of their pronouns (especially those that identify outside of the gender binaries and perhaps use they/them) this comes with a lot of unnecessary fuss. Asking all students to provide their pronouns normalises not making assumptions and also normalises asking people of their pronouns. This normalisation creates a safer / more respectful environment. 

I propose that the university actively encourage students who are comfortable in doing so to include their pronouns in a number of ways:

If we were to take up this idea, we would not be the only university. I have spoken to friends at other universities who have shared that their universities have already implemented this idea. At Newcastle University, student’s pronouns appear when they join online lectures and, alongside University of Liverpool, all staff have their pronouns included in their email footer.

Particularly during online learning, where we may be thrown into break out rooms with people we don’t know, it’s important that we stay mindful of things like pronouns. Including pronouns in zoom names and email footers would be such a small but impactful move.

Expires: March 2024 (16th)

Submitted By: Chloe Davison 

Officer: Equality & Liberation

Area of Work: University Services


May 2022: Leeds University's new inclusive language guidance to staff and students includes can be found here. Within it, it guides people to use "Proactively includes welcoming words, phrases and expressions". 

November 2021: The university published a statement on this as a similar demand was made by the LGBT+ Society, and the Uni's response was: “The use of pronouns — in emails or in meetings — is a personal choice. We do not have policies on this, but do provide support and resources to help inform that choice.” - Article with university statement

June 2021: Carolina (Education officer) spoke to the Pro Dean from Arts, Humanities & Culture (AHC), who explained that the communication around encouraging University staff to display pronouns and to encourage willing students to do the same is something that can be worked on with the AHC Student Advisory Board. 

March 2021: New Policy