Names are everything, and so are pronouns.
New Jersey City University has announced a new policy which would align with the LGBTQ community on the fundamental view of pronouns reflecting an individual’s gender identity.
“This is a big step for our university and more importantly for our students,” said Dr. Angel Gonzalez, who is the inaugural chief diversity and inclusion officer at NJCU. “We are at our best when we are valued as individuals and treated with respect, those create the best learning environments.”
As stated on NJCU’s site, the university recognizes that members of the campus community – students, faculty, staff, and alumni – may choose/prefer to use a name other than their legal name to identify themselves. Therefore, the university has acknowledged that an individual’s chosen/preferred name will be used where possible.
The Chosen Name Policy extends itself to faculty, staff, and alumni, according to the university’s site.
“We were very much pushing for this to happen,” said Abby Shivers, a second year student studying psychology and the president of the LGBTQ Alliance student-led organization at NJCU. Shivers sees her future career in public service for the LGBTQ+ community, and plans on interning at Hudson Pride.
According to data compiled by the National Center for Transgender Equality, 75 percent of transgender and nonbinary students feel discriminated against and unsafe at school.
The university will continue to expand the use of chosen/preferred names across systems as needed. This list will be updated as adjustments are made. In addition, as the university implements new technology and software, college officials are committed to ensuring that these systems support the use of chosen/preferred names and will be part of the review process.
Students can submit a request to update their portal with the preferred chosen name on this site.
“This definitely brought more ease for students, as there was a general consensus by students to move forward with the new policy,” the school said, who said that many students felt much more “freer” as they no longer identified with their “deadname,” the birth name they previously identified as prior to transitioning.
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