At the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, administrators informed students that they could now assign and even register their “preferred pronoun” on the school’s website. It’s all part of their new “Designated Pronouns” policy.
One student Grant Strobl announced his via Twitter:
— Grant Strobl (@grantstrobl) September 28, 2016
In an interview with CNS News, Strobl – who’s also the chairman of the conservative student group Young Americans for Freedom Board of Governors – said, “I’ve always wanted professors to call me ‘His Majesty’ for some reason.”
According to the email sent to students and staff, “students can designate pronouns in Wolverine Access through the new Gender Identity tab within the Campus Personal Information section. This page will be used to enter/update and/or delete pronoun information with the University.”
The email further stated that these designated pronouns “give students the ability to tell the University what pronoun they identify with for use in our communications and interactions with them.”
“The email suggested you could use ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’ or ‘ze’, but the email and website weren’t the same,” Strobl, who is majoring in political science and international studies, told CNSNews. “The website had ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘they’ or ‘make up your own’.”
He added that “hundreds of students have changed their pronouns to protest the university’s policy.”
“Students have been calling me ‘His Majesty”, those that have read the story, and it really does illustrate the ridiculousness of the policy in ignoring the English language. It just creates more complexity, more difficulty for our society as a whole, and it goes against the university’s mission to pursue truth.”
CNSNews asked Strobl if any of his professors have actually called him ‘His Majesty’ so far.
“Personally I haven’t received any reactions from my professors,” he continued. “However, I have had professors email me saying that they support what I’m doing because they think this policy is ridiculous.
“However, there is one professor who teaches statistics who says she’s going to punish students who use a similar pronoun as mine.”
So, now the debate is going to be whether a person’s “preferred pronoun” is sarcastic or serious. How will administrators know? Are they going to start being more restrictive and say that you have to choose from a list of options? Wouldn’t that be construed as anti-inclusive?