Universities Struggle to Keep Up With Gender and Pronoun Changes

According to the 2020 Gender Census, 33% of transgender and non-binary individuals use two pronoun sets and over 10% use three or more

Image Credits: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images.

Universities across the country are struggling to keep up as students change their gender and preferred pronouns. 

This comes as the number of people identifying as a different gender and preferring alternate pronouns rises, with some even using multiple pronoun sets. 

According to the 2020 Gender Census, 33% of transgender and non-binary individuals use two pronoun sets, and over 10% use three or more.

This new gender ideology has caused significant confusion on some campuses.

According to Genny Beemyn, director of the Stonewall Center at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, many colleges do not have information systems that allow students to provide their preferred pronouns and gender.

As a result, many institutions have had to devote significant resources toward this problem in an attempt to cater to trans and other “gender non-conforming” students. 

Not only does the pronoun and gender swapping draw the attention and resources of university administrators, but its effects are also felt in the classroom. 

In 2020, for example, Campus Reform reported that New York University began allowing students to change their preferred pronouns, with class rosters updated every night to reflect the changes.

Further exacerbating the confusion are recent changes made to the Common App, a college application aid that describes itself as “an experiment to simplify the admissions process has evolved into a global college access movement.” 

These included the addition of two questions that allow applicants “to share their preferred first name” and “the option to multi-select or add their pronoun set” on college applications.

Applications completed through Common App, which is accepted by over 1,000 schools, will now send this information to institutions already scrambling to mediate the gender and pronoun changes of enrolled students. 

Some of these schools include colleges without updated systems equipped to handle name and pronoun changes, so the confusion, and administrative complexity, on these campuses will likely increase.

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