Special Reports

University Of Kansas Libraries Give Students Pronoun Pins In Inclusion Effort


The University of Kansas libraries gave students pronoun pins to help them easily make their preferred pronouns known to others. This is part of the school's effort for inclusion and diversity.

Lawrence Journal-World reported that the school's library system has developed a "You Belong Here" marketing effort to make sure that students feel welcome regardless of their gender. Employees are also wearing the gender-identity buttons.

A sign posted on the library explained that it gender is fluid and is dependent on the individual. The school believes that everyone has the right to identify their own pronouns.

The pins are helpful in letting others know how students should be addressed. Using the wrong pronoun can led to the other person being hurt, disrespected and invalidated.

There are three variations of the "My pronouns are" pins. The first two are traditional male and female: "He him his" and "She her hers" while the third is for people who don't identify themselves as any of the two: "They them theirs."

Employees at the circulation and information desks are the ones who came up with the idea. They also enlisted the help of KU's Office of Multicultural Affairs to help write posts to advertise that libraries are inclusive spaces.

KU dean of libraries Kevin Smith explained that the campaign aims to show the system's commitment to diversity and inclusion. He added that libraries have always been committed to First Amendment values.

WHEC.com noted that other schools have also adopted the gender-identity buttons. Some institutions that increased their inclusion efforts are Vermont's Champlain College and the University of Vermont.

It was previously reported that Oxford University has urged students to use "ze" in place of traditional pronouns like "he" and "she." The students' union revealed that the move was intended to decrease the risk of offending transgender students.

Last September, the University of Michigan in the United States announced that it has allowed students to indicate their preferred gender pronoun on class rosters.

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