Today administration announced that we can now add our preferred pronouns to class rosters and our student accounts via YES. This has been a long time coming as Vanderbilt has moved towards creating an inclusive environment, as well as streamlining the identification process for students in and out of the classroom. Before today, students were able to include a picture that best represented their physical appearance in order to help faculty and staff more easily be aware of their personal identity. Additionally, there were a variety of options to update one’s preferred name on class rosters, Vanderbilt’s gmail account, and dorm door dec from the time they were accepted to Vanderbilt until the day they walk across the stage at graduation.
This next step continues to create an environment where students are able to experience a cohesive and inclusive learning environment that respects their existence within this campus. This function on YES is incredibly important for students who are consistently misgendered in classrooms and are forced to carry the burden of notifying each professor of their correct pronouns. It will also shifts how the student body thinks about its members, as gender non-conforming individuals are not “other.”
All students are welcome to provide their pronouns, which means that the sharing of one’s preferred pronouns can and will reach a level of normalcy within the coming years. This is no small piece to the puzzle of diversity and inclusion at Vanderbilt. All Vandy students must understand how influential this new feature is, and for those of us outside the QILTBAG, include our pronouns on our student accounts to promote an environment of inclusion for our gender non-conforming peers.