51Ʒ

Pronouns

To foster a community that recognizes, respects, and celebrates the self-authorship of individual identities, we invite you to share your pronouns with us.

Understanding Pronouns

Pronouns are the words we use to talk about a person when we’re not using their name. These might be they/them, he/him, she/her, or other pronouns.

Why are they important?

You can’t know what someone’s pronouns are by looking at them. When someone is referred to by the wrong pronoun (i.e., misgendered), it can make the person feel disrespected, invalidated, and hurt. Sharing our pronouns and using correct pronouns set a tone of inclusion and respect.

Why we don’t use “preferred” pronouns

The use of the word qualifier “preferred” before pronouns suggests that someone’s pronouns are merely a preference, and others have the option to use those pronouns or not. Rather, pronouns reflect the intentional decision of an individual as part of their identity expression and this should always be respected. Because our identities change and grow over time, our pronouns may also change. Even though someone’s pronouns may change or be different than we might expect, they are never a preference.

Sharing My Pronouns at PSU

How can I share my pronouns?

Students, staff, and faculty may provide or update the pronouns they use in the classroom or academic environment at any time via  on the My Account page. Providing your pronouns is completely optional and you are welcome to update or remove them at any time.

Who will have access to my pronouns?

The pronouns you provide will be shared in the following places:

  • Your Student Profile (available to course instructors and academic advisors)
  • Class List via myPSU (available to course instructors and teaching assistants)
  • Canvas (PSU’s online learning platform)
  • Student Health and Counseling (healthcare and wellness practitioners)
  • Cognos Data Warehouse (academic departments and administrators)

Other services at PSU will request pronouns separately, which intentionally allows you to determine how you want to interact in different environments. Offices and systems that will collect pronouns independently include:

  • Zoom (PSU Account)
  • Campus Recreation Center
  • Housing and Res Life

Using Pronouns

Once you are aware of a person’s pronouns, it is expected at 51Ʒ State that you will use their correct pronouns. Learning new pronouns may take time, but with some effort and practice it becomes a part of everyday interaction. Intentional and persistent use of incorrect pronouns is not only disrespectful and harmful, but it may constitute discrimination under .

Learning More

To learn how to be more inclusive in the classroom or service setting by proactively incorporating pronouns and gender expansive language please visit the Queer Resource Center's pronoun resource page. You may also want to see how we use preferred and chosen names as well as our practice of collecting gender separate from legal sex.