Following new ‘gender identity’ policy last year
Faculty and staff at the University of Minnesota are gearing up to undergo pronoun training in order to make the campus a more welcoming environment for “transgender” and “non-binary” community members.
A university policy first floated in the summer of 2018 and recently finalized dictates that university employees “are expected to use the names, gender identities and pronouns specified to them by university members.” Failing to abide by this policy “could result in discipline,” according to the policy’s FAQ page.
Training for the new policy has begun, The Minnesota Daily reports. The training program involves instructing staff and faculty in the new gender pronoun rules; those staff will then be “tasked with working to educate their colleagues, helping them work through questions and mistakes.”
By utilizing staff members to carry the training to their respective departments, the program “aims to spread education to different areas of the University by assigning staff who are familiar with their unit’s culture.”
From the report:
Noelle Noonan, director of student affairs and registrar in the Law School, applied for the spring cohort of the training program.
She emphasized the importance of living out the policy and modeling behavior for others.
“I think this is a good opportunity for individuals who are passionate and are interested and want to dedicate that time and energy to sort of be champions of that policy,” she said.
Facilitator Erin Keyes, who is also the assistant dean of students in the Law School, said in an email to the Minnesota Daily that a training session took place earlier [last] week for Law School employees.
“The Facilitator Training Program for Gender Equity Access allows the Law School to better recognize and honor gender diversity in our community, knowing that it is an essential piece of who we are,” she said in the email.
Reflecting on the pronoun-based training, Noonan stressed the importance of having “an improved vocabulary within these conversations and a shared vocabulary in these conversations.”
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