Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Syllabus Statements: Preferred Pronouns

Syllabus statements are an important way for faculty to accomplish a number of useful goals at the outset of each course: Reduce the number of predictable questions from students, help establish students' expectations about the course at the outset, reduce students’ uncertainty (and increase their comfort level) about you and the course, generate more positive perceptions about who you are and how you will conduct the class, and convey your commitment to supporting them as individuals. These pages offer information about several categories of recommended syllabus statements, each offering examples and downloads of language that can be copied or revised for individual faculty use in course syllabi.

Preferred Pronouns

Consistently using personal pronouns and preferred names contributes to creating a more inclusive campus culture. Since March 2019, students, staff, and faculty have had the option to be listed in the Cal Poly directory under their preferred name. In addition, Cal Poly Canvas users are now able to indicate their personal pronouns in their user settings.

Syllabus Statement Model Language

At Cal Poly everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and personal pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns, for example: they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, etc. As of January 2020, students can update their pronouns in their Canvas user settings. If you have not yet updated your pronouns in Canvas, you can do so at the beginning of the term so that I can make sure to refer to you using the correct pronouns. If your pronoun set is not available in Canvas, please let me know. I recognize that preferred names and pronouns may change during the quarter, if at any point during the quarter you would like to be addressed differently, please let me know.

As part of our commitment to inclusion in this course, it is important that all students in this class respect the preferred names and pronouns of their peers. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen. If you make a mistake or are corrected, please briefly apologize and correct yourself. To learn more about personal pronouns and why they are important please visit Cal Poly’s Pronouns Matter website and mypronouns.org.

[Note for faculty: To learn more about preferred names and pronouns visit Pronouns and Preferred Names Resource Page and Pronouns and Preferred Names FAQ]

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