Hey Her Campus-Let's Talk about Pronouns

Smith College prides itself not only for the many talented Smithies that grace its campus, but also for the inclusive environment that provides support for the diverse number of students and their unique backgrounds. Students at Smith College are aware of the importance in respecting and honoring the different perspectives and lifestyles their fellow peers. With this context in mind, it makes it all the more essential for Her Campus Smith to take part in this dialogue, especially because of the female-specific pronoun that appears in the title of this very website. So, pull up a chair. Let's talk about gender identities, pronouns, and how the name Her Campus is only problematic if you let it be.

Smith College hosts a myriad of students, each with their own distinct background and sense of self. This is not only limited to religious beliefs, race, or socioeconomic status, but also gender. It is a fairly common practice at Smith College to ask someone, upon meeting them for the first time, what pronouns they use. Do they identify with "she/her" pronouns? Or perhaps this person prefers "they/their" pronouns. Maybe this Smithie does not identify as "female." Perhaps you are a student, who goes by "he/him" pronouns. The Smithies who choose to use a distinct set of pronouns or who do not want to place themselves on the gender binary are a valued group on campus who contribute their various voices on the impact on gender both in and outside the classroom.  However, what happens when Smith students decide to write for a website called Her Campus? And what happens when Smith has its own personalized chapter of the website, Her Campus Smith? Are voices excluded? Will the articles and posts prove relevant for only one specific type of Smithie? For those involved in Her Campus Smith, such questions are important as we continue writing and spreading our name throughout campus. So, here's an answer that should clarify any lingering doubts or confusion: No. 

 Her Campus Smith does not exclusively represent Smithies who identify as female.  In no way are we attempting to prevent submissions from Smithies who are trans* and/or students who don't identify with "she/her" pronouns. While we can't change the website name, we can change any potential preconceptions of exclusion the name might hint at for some. Let the record show: despite the gendered website name, Her Campus Smith is devoted to writing pieces that are of value to all Smithies. This is especially relevant in distinguishing as Smith has yet to take a firm stance on the admissions policy for students who do not identify as female. Even on campus, trans* students often receive different treatment from faculty, peers, and the Smith administration itself, especially with policies regarding hosting overnights for perspective students. Fortunately, students of Smith take it upon themselves to continue fostering a supportive climate where dialogue and discussion about these matters can continue, while also pressing the school administration to make it safer for trans* students.