Pennsylvania University threatens consequences for misgendering, using the wrong pronouns

A University in Pennsylvania announced its student body that it would begin accepting reports about people who violate its Policy on Discrimination and Harassment, which includes misgendering and using the wrong pronouns.

Park Point University in Pittsburgh has gained lots of attention after Campus Reform obtained an email from the school’s Office of Equity and Inclusion that was sent to students. The email informed students “that “action could be taken” against individuals who do not use their classmates’ preferred pronouns”. The announcement included a warning that action would be taken against students violating the policy.

PPU’s Office of Equity and Inclusion sent its student body an email on September 13, informing students that there were new policies going into effect. The email says that “Misgendering, continued misuse of an individual’s pronouns, or using an individual’s deadname after being informed of a chosen name could result in a violation of the Policy on Discrimination and Harassment for gender-based discrimination. While the University recognizes the aspect of intent versus impact, we must recognize that regardless of the intent, if an individual is impacted in a harmful way, action could be taken if a complaint is filed” (New York Post). The New York Post also reported that students risk punishment if they misgender or use the wrong pronouns repeatedly.

In the past few years, there has been an increased push among LGBTQ+ and allies for people to use the preferred pronouns of people, regardless of their appearance. This has looked like people putting it in their social media bios or wearing pins that have it written out. Schools have also increasingly emphasized their Title IX policies to “[create] institutional environment free from discrimination and harassment for students and employees” (Park Point University).

As these two things have become more prevalent, they have begun to coincide, meaning that schools and universities, as well as employers, have placed more emphasis on using people’s preferred pronouns correctly.

There are mixed feelings about the new policy. Some, including a director and the student body president, told Campus Reform that they thought it would ensure respect on campus. Others feel like this rule benefits a small fraction of the people affected by the rules.

Track and field runner, Tyler Hertwig, told Campus Reform “To expect people to completely rewire how they interact with others is nuts. All for what, that 1 in 50 million chance of them possibly running into someone that’s ‘not’ a male or female”.




Leave a Reply