The Associated Student Body requests UM professors use students’ preferred pronouns such as he/him, she/her and they/them. In a formal meeting Dec. 13 over Zoom, Senate Resolution passed 22-9 with two “no” votes, effectively putting into place a preferred pronoun policy for students.
Senator Caleb Ball, one of the authors of the resolution, suggested that moving forward, to assist professors in using a student’s preferred pronouns, a section may be added to MyOleMiss for users to add their pronouns so they show up next to their names on the roster. Pronouns may also be added to student ID’s.
Since this is a resolution, professors are highly encouraged to use preferred pronouns but will not face punishment for failing to do so.
The resolution resulted from an incident during the fall semester. According to Ball, a student emailed him in the beginning of the school year stating that a professor had emailed everyone in the class informing them he would not be using any pronouns that did not match the student’s assigned sex.
The professor referred to preferred pronouns as “meaningless.” According to Ball, the email read, “I will refer to females as she/her and males as he/him. I’m also often not politically correct. I say it as I see it. The rest is just a waste of my time and yours.”
The identities of the professor and the student who sent the email will remain anonymous, according to bill co-author Hayden Pierce.
“After talking to many of my trans and non-binary friends in the UM Pride Network, I realized that we must take a step to ensure that the trans community on campus can worry about school in the classroom setting and not whether a professor will respect their pronouns,” Ball said.
Ball said that he and co-authors Pierce and Sara Cantú found in their research that 10 other universities in the SEC already have pronoun policies in place. The University of Mississippi Medical Center also has one in place.
As the ASB representative for the UM Pride Network, Ball said this resolution is extremely important.
“We must ensure that every student on this campus has a safe environment to learn,” Ball said. “Passing this resolution shows the queer community on this campus that ASB sees them and has their back.”