Our statement on pronoun usage across our websites and publications:
When referring generically to individuals
Throughout The Educator Collaborative websites and publications we are increasingly applying gender-neutral pronouns “they,” “them,” “themselves” when referring generically to nonspecific individuals. These are purposefully selected in opposition to the gender-binary assumption formed in the phrases, “his or her,” and, “she or he.”
Gender neutral pronouns, throughout our websites and publications, may refer to a singular or plural noun, as indicated by context.
If a student asks for a pencil, they should be given a pencil.
If students ask for a pencil, they should be given a pencil.
The number of nouns represented in each sentence is clear from context, while also avoiding normative language.
When referring to specific individuals who have indicated their preferred pronouns
In all other instances, we are increasingly noting the preferred pronouns requested by individuals and using them. We value how individuals wish to be described.
Self-reported gender-pronouns will be used increasingly throughout our websites and publications to the best of our ability. If we misrepresent a pronoun, or if an individual’s gender-pronoun changes, please let us know and we would be happy to make any corrections.
It is both the smallest deal to us (to fix) and tremendously the biggest deal to us (to respect).
For more examples of pronoun usage in academic settings, we invite you to visit these resources and sites:
- University of Wisconsin—Madison, The Writing Center: “Using Gender Neutral Pronouns in Academic Writing”
- Vanderbilt University, Students may self-select gender pronouns in campus-wide enrollment and student services
- Washington University in St. Louis: Use of Singular They in Academic Writing and Communications (Report)
- Harvard Registrar: Name Changes, Preferred Names, Gender Pronouns, Gender Marker