Apr 27, 2021 | Atlanta, GA
Georgia Tech’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) continues its efforts to provide an inclusive experience for all students through its services. Last year, gender pronouns were introduced within the Canvas learning management system and OIT have, since, been exploring options to add them to other commonly used services.
Gender-neutral pronouns, such as they/them, provide more opportunities for people who do not use exclusively male or female gender identities to define themselves. According to Georgia Tech’s LGBTQIA Pronouns Guide, some people may want to use other pronouns outside of the common gender pronouns (she/her, he/him) to better fit their gender identity and expression.
“Pronouns are a way for a student to be addressed as the person they know to be, and that can decrease stress and barriers to learning,” said Camilla Brewers, coordinator of the LGBTQIA Resource Center at Georgia Tech. “Pronouns are a simple step to take to promote inclusivity in the classroom and online, so that all students are seen, heard, and addressed appropriately.”
This new feature in Canvas represents a broader effort to support the Institute’s “A Path Forward”, which unites the Institute to make a commitment to an inclusive, safe, and healthy community.
“This function helps to promote the use of pronouns and reduces instances of incorrect pronoun usage, which allows students and faculty to collaborate in a safe, respectful space,” said Caleb Torres, chief of staff of the undergraduate student government association. “Since the enabling of this feature, I've seen the number of people with pronouns on Canvas skyrocket, a testament to the inclusive nature of the Georgia Tech community. I look forward to future digital developments focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion, in alignment with the Georgia Tech strategic plan."
For those who choose to use this new feature, personal pronouns will be displayed after their name in various places in Canvas, including:
- Comment Fields
- People Page (Course and Groups)
- User Navigation
- User Profile Page
- User Settings Page
Users who choose not to display their gender identity can simply select "None".
The Canvas guide document, “How do I select personal pronouns in my user account as a student?” provides step-by-step instructions on how to change the pronouns linked to an individual profile.
To learn more about LGBTQIA inclusion at Georgia Tech, visit https://lgbtqia.gatech.edu/content/policies-and-practices.