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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

GSC makes His/Her/Their impact on NSW

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During NSW this year, the Gender and Sexuality Center unveiled for the first time the use of gender pronoun buttons to more easily convey a person’s preferred gender pronouns. The overall consensus from first year students, NSW leaders, and faculty was positive, according to first year students and GSC staff.

“Implementing this activity was a great way to make the atmosphere considerate for each other and to motivate people to be a part of the community and grow together,” said first year student, Gladys Cortes ’19. “Although the liberty to share or not is important, this activity really gave opportunities to make connections more easily,” she said.

Laura Haave, Director of the GSC, said she was “really pleased to see so many people on board” and willing to use the buttons, especially since this was the first year pronoun buttons were handed out. The buttons, which featured “She/ Her/Hers,” “He/Him/His,” “They/ Their/Theirs,” and the most popular, “Ask My Pronouns,” were available at the Welcome Tent and the picnic dinner, to provide “multiple safe opportunities for students to pick them up,” she said.

“This year we’re looking for opportunities to make the campus more inclusive though activities that are simple yet visible, and this was one of them,” Haave said. “If you don’t fit neatly into society’s gender boxes, coming to a new place can be incredibly anxiety producing, and our goal is that no one has that experience.”

The buttons were also avail- able for the peer leaders, who were trained on the use of the buttons and how to answer questions about them, according to Haave.

Eduardo Garcia, ’19, said that had “never been in an environment where gender pronouns were such an important aspect of getting to know a person,” but appreciates how socially conscious Carleton students are.

While Garcia was surprised by the buttons, Rumya Ravi, ’19, “was not necessarily surprised by the buttons because it’s something I expected at Carleton. I only took the button off at the end of NSW, and I would have worn it longer, but it didn’t fit on our lanyards. I saw a lot of people use them, and I definitely reacted positively.”

“No one is obligated to take them, but we wanted everyone to have an opportunity to wear one and understand why they’re being used,” noted Haave. She was surprised that the “Ask My Pronoun” buttons ran out so quickly, and that faculty and staff asked for buttons to show support.

“Next year we will definitely have to order more,” said Haave. In addition, Haave noted that “next year we would do a few things differently, partly just making them available with the name tags and in more locations.” She emphasized that due to the positive reaction to the gender pronoun buttons, the GSC will continue their distribution at next year’s New Student Week.

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