Before the class of 2020 invaded Champlain College's campus this year, staff members put their heads together to figure out new ways to accommodate students in the LGBT community.
One idea: Create buttons displaying the pronouns with which the students identify, said Danelle Berube, the college's director of residential life. As first-year orientation began, and upper-class student leaders also returned to campus, hundreds of pins were handed out. Faculty and staff also grabbed pins that fit their preferences.
Berube said Monday the school already needs to make more.
"We have a number of students who identify as transgender or on the non-binary spectrum, and about a week before orientation while we were pulling together materials, the idea just kind of came out of the air," Berube said. "It just seemed like a no-brainer — a very easy way to make the first day of college for a number of our students maybe a little bit easier."12/27/16 Lawrence Journal-World:
Buttons featuring preferred gender pronouns are part of the University of Kansas Libraries “You Belong Here” marketing campaign, targeted at attracting undergraduates and making sure they feel welcome, including those who are transgendered. The buttons are worn by library employees who wish to.
A number of University of Kansas Libraries employees now wear buttons showing their preferred gender pronouns. Extra buttons are offered for students who want one, too.
“Because gender is, itself, fluid and up to the individual,” a posted sign at the libraries explains. “Each person has the right to identify their own pronouns, and we encourage you to ask before assuming someone’s gender. Pronouns matter! Misgendering someone can have lasting consequences, and using the incorrect pronoun can be hurtful, disrespectful, and invalidate someone’s identity.”