The college may be #2 ranked in the nation, but its policy on pronouns takes it to the top.
Harvard isn’t just a key Ivy League college, and #2 in the recently-released National Universities rankings list. It is also a college that is in the news again, and this time for getting pronouns right! Congratulations, Harvard.
Harvard garnered attention earlier in the year for its progressive attitudes toward trans athletes in college sports. You may remember Schuyler Bailar, the swimmer who had been initially recruited as a swimmer for the Harvard women’s team, but was supported by the college to swim with the elite mens team after his gap year coincided with his transition.
It comes as little surprise that the school is now in the news, this time for offering pronoun options.
From this school year, the school asks students at registration to not just answer with classic gender options – ‘male, female’ – students also have the option of including preferred pronouns.
The Registrar’s office said that this is a step that has been a number of years in the making. And has been developed in consultation with the Harvard Trans* Task Force, the College’s Office of BGLTQ Student Life, and key Harvard students.
It means now that trans and non-binary students will no longer be expected to have personal conversations with each and every professor, TA and, support personnel to clarify their pronoun usage. “It’s important when you are writing emails or referring a student to another person in the College, you want to do it the right way,” the Harvard Crimson reports school registrar Michael P. Burke as saying.
While this move primarily potentially supports those who wish their pronouns to be respected, it also has the added bonus of encouraging conversation at the beginning of the year with those students and faculty who may be less familiar with non-binary identities and how they might support these students.
Again, we say congratulations, Harvard!
Does your alma mater need this?