The University of Arizona phonebook is being updated to include the option to add pronouns to student and faculty profiles on Oct. 26.
Alex Harris, the senior project director for the Office of University Initiatives, said in an interview with the Daily Wildcat that the addition of pronouns is part of an ongoing initiative to gather information about names, sex, gender and pronouns in a more inclusive way.
“We want to create a campus culture where people's pronouns are respected,” Harris said when discussing the heart behind the initiative.
Adding pronouns to a profile is completely voluntary but highly encouraged by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and will hopefully result in a more inclusive community at UA. In addition to pronouns being added to the UA phonebook, they will automatically be added to class rosters.
Pronouns visible in the UA phonebook are possible to change and can be updated as soon as 48 hours. It is also possible to remove pronouns from the phonebook entirely, making it completely up to the individual's discretion.
Earl Lee, the director of training initiatives in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, said that students and faculty will be able to choose binary pronouns such as she/her, he/his or they/them and combinations like she/they or he/they.
Lee said during an interview with the Wildcat that they believe that another reason this initiative is so important is to let transgender and non-binary students know that their voices have been heard and that they have a sense of belonging at the UA.
Harris also noted that having the update go live during LGBTQ History Month was a conscious decision made by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and reflects that a large push for these initiatives stems from wanting to embrace the university’s core values of compassion and inclusivity.
Kendal Washington White, vice provost of Campus Life and Dean of Students, issued a statement to the Wildcat via email in which she said, “I am proud that the members of the University of Arizona advocated for the ability to accurately represent who we are.”
”Essentially, this initiative demonstrates a level of inclusivity, feeling welcomed and being your true self,” Washington White said.
For more information about pronouns or how to add them to the UA phonebook check out the Office of Diversity & Inclusion's pronoun guidance page diversity.arizona.edu/pronouns.
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