Cal State Fullerton will now offer an updated feature through the Student Center that will allow students and faculty members to list their pronouns and modify their names.
On March 19, Vincent Vigil, the associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students, sent out an email that listed links and information on how they can change their pronouns and names through their student portals.
“We hope that this will help to create a more inclusive environment for our Titans and to make certain that all of our Titans feel accepted and feel that they are a part of the Titan family. So this is a step towards inclusivity on our campus so we’re very proud of it,” Vigil said.
The university previously offered a similar feature through Titanium that allowed students to change their pronouns, but the university felt this was a good time to amplify it since the transition to Canvas, Vigil said.
“We had this feature on Canvas but it was only known by some, and so now we’ve created the guidebook for people to know how to do it, and now we’ve thrown it to everybody,” Vigil said.
He said that they had been working on this feature for three or four months so that it could be carried out appropriately.
“We’ve also been working on the center side to build up a lot of our resourcing and education on our website, so that way any faculty or students that do have these questions can really just look at it and understand the importance of pronouns and why we have to share them,” said Nat Betancourt Arellano, the coordinator for the LGBT Queer Resource Center on campus.
Betancourt Arellano said the tool is receiving positive feedback from students who are feeling validated by the university.
They added that the center offers a workshop that is dedicated to pronoun education for anyone who wants to learn more.
“It was also important to us too, to build up different educational portions, as well, for folks that aren’t as unaware of why are pronouns important, why all individuals should utilize pronouns, and sharing pronouns,” Betancourt Arellano said.
Vigil said an informational web page was created to help students navigate the new feature and answer all of their questions.
In collaboration with Betancourt Arellano’s team, the university sent out the message to the LGBTQ Resource Center community first to check for any difficulties with the new feature, Vigil said.
“I think that it’s nice because it gives students the space to share their pronouns if they’re comfortable,” said Gabi Cuna, a third year psychology major. “And it kind of disrupts the idea that you can just assume a student’s pronouns or look at a student and know which pronouns they use.”
Cuna said they had previously advocated for the feature when they noticed their partner’s university offered the feature, and felt CSUF should have one as well.
They added that it makes them feel more comfortable correcting instructors during class if the wrong pronouns are used, because faculty will already have access to the correct pronouns on class rosters.
“Everybody uses pronouns, this is not just a non-cis issue, this is something that everybody utilizes and it’s important that we understand how pronouns work,” Betancourt Arellano said. “It’s just important to share and be mindful of them, so this is a really great way in which we can continue to practice that.”