University of Michigan to ‘foster inclusiveness’ by allowing students to choose their own pronouns

The University of Michigan is now allowing students to select the pronoun they wish others to use in reference to them.

It’s no just “he” or “she” anymore. Students can now request that “ze” be used — a new gender-neutral pronoun

It’s supposed to be an effort to foster inclusiveness, according to an email obtained by the Detroit Free Press from Provost Martha Pollack and  Royster Harper, vice president for Student Life that was sent to faculty and students.

“A designated personal pronoun is a pronoun an individual chooses to identify with and expects others to use when referencing them (he, she, him, his, ze, etc.),” the school said in a news release.

Dictionary.com defines “ze” as “used with a singular indefinite pronoun or singular noun antecedent in place of the definite masculine he or the definite feminine she,” and having originated from the German Sie.”

The Free Press reported:

U-M added a section in its campus directory to allow the students to designate a personal pronoun.

Designated pronouns will automatically populate on all class rosters. If a student does not designate a pronoun, none will be listed.

The move is the result of a Pronoun Committee of staff and faculty that met for the past year. The committee was in response to a student petition.

 

“Faculty members play a vital role in ensuring all of our community feels valued, respected and included. Given that this process is new, we ask that faculty members review their rosters again in mid- to late October to give students time to designate their pronouns,” the e-mail message from campus administrators said.

“Asking about and correctly using someone’s designated pronoun is one of the most basic ways to show respect for their identity and to cultivate an environment that respects all gender identities.”

It’s meant to “foster inclusiveness”? Really? Sounds more like exclusivity, as in “I’m different — I’m special.”

At any rate, the big block M that identifies the Michigan Wolverines has now become lower case — and italicized.

About the only good thing that can come of this is that we now know how to address the Saturday Night Live character “Pat.”

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