Kennesaw State received criticism on social media after the LGBTQ Resource Center recently handed out new pamphlets in the student center that include a list of gender-neutral pronouns.
The pamphlet, titled “Pronouns Matter: A guide to using gender-neutral pronouns,” provides a table showing how to conjugate several pronouns such as “ne,” “ve,” “ey,” “ze” and “hir,” along with “he,” she,” her” and “him.”
It also provides information for students on how to respectfully interact with transgender or gender-neutral students that use different pronouns. It suggests regularly asking classmates, students and coworkers what pronouns they use or how they would like to be addressed in conversation.
The pamphlet is available for students to pick up outside of the LGBTQ Resource Center on the second floor of the Student Center.
Campus Reform, a conservative news website, posted an article it published on twitter about the pamphlet, leading to a wave of criticism directed at KSU. Many people also started posting about and commenting on it after Fox News posted a video about the pamphlet on its Facebook page.
Many responded by attacking the university. One person commented on Fox News’ Facebook post, saying they would never let their kids attend a university that “taught garbage.” Brian Ford, another commenter on the post, wrote that KSU should “have its university status revoked.”
The LGBTQ Resource Center has not responded to questions regarding the response they have gotten from people on social media, but KSU gave an official statement on the matter.
“The information in question is a resource made available by the Kennesaw State Office of Student Engagement for those in the campus community with questions or who have a particular interest in this topic,” the statement said. “There is no policy at Kennesaw State University requiring the use of gender-neutral pronouns nor for the wide distribution of these materials.”
“Pronouns Matter” is one of many informational pamphlets that the LGBTQ Resource Center offers to students. One of the pamphlets available for students to pick up outside of the center lists all of the locations on the Kennesaw campus where students can find gender-neutral restrooms.
In February, KSU held a book talk for faculty members where they discussed Northern Illinois University assistant professor Z Nicolazzo’s book, “Trans* in College: Transgender Students’ Strategies for Navigating Campus Life and the Institutional Politics of Conclusion.”
Faculty members read and discussed the book to find ways to make trans students at KSU feel more comfortable on campus and in the classroom.
Nicolazzo uses the gender-neutral pronouns “ze” and “hir” to identify, according to Sauk Valley. Nicolazzo also received negative responses to the book when it was first published in December 2016.