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CSU releases official pronoun statement, creates resource webpage

colorful buttons in a plastic bin
Buttons with identity flags sit in the Pride Resource Center on Oct. 21. “Pride generally provides community building opportunities, advocacy, resources and education to campus to support queer and trans(gender) students,” Assistant Director Maggie Hendrickson said. (Ryan Schmidt | The Collegian)

Colorado State University recently released an official pronoun statement and pronouns resource website. The Commission on Diversity and Inclusion collaborated with the Office of Inclusive Excellence and the Pride Resource Center to create the statement and website and share them with the campus community.

According to CSU’s pronouns resource webpage, the pronoun statement and website are intended to support the campus community’s right to share their pronouns and have them respected across campus.

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“The pronoun statement is really rooted in creating spaces of belonging and strengthening our community ties with one another while also teaching folks how to be better going into the future and how we best support all folks, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” said Meg Skeehan, a program assistant in the department of accounting in the College of Business.

Language is changing, and we just have to be open and willing to navigate that and see it not as this burden, but rather as how we can create spaces where everyone feels like they belong.” –Meg Skeehan, program assistant for the CSU department of accounting

Maggie Hendrickson, assistant director of the CSU Pride Resource Center, spoke about how it’s a project that has been years in the making.

“Sharing pronouns and respecting pronouns is really a big sign of affirmation and inclusion for trans(gender) and nonbinary students,” Hendrickson said. “We know that there have been some parts of the University when folks have shared their pronouns or put it on their email signature and people on campus have told them to take it down, like, ‘Don’t do that here.’ So what we wanted was the University to come together and make a clear statement that this is something folks can do and that people are encouraged to do it that way.”

The website provides a video of the statement, printable posters of the pronoun statement, FAQs and more resources to help people continue to learn about pronouns and create a campus culture that supports all gender identities. 

“We built out this website, pronouns.colostate.edu, that has a bunch of resources and the video and posters and things so that we’re not just saying the statement without promoting education; we want to also make sure people can learn about it and get caught up to speed about why it’s important to share pronouns,” Hendrickson said.

According to Skeehan, the 2019 National College Health Assessment data shows that LGBTQ+ students experience the highest level of psychological distress across all CSU populations.

Skeehan also spoke about the Trevor Project’s 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health, which found an association between affirming transgender and nonbinary young people and lower rates of suicide attempts.

“Language is changing, and we just have to be open and willing to navigate that and see it not as this burden but rather as how we can create spaces where everyone feels like they belong,” Skeehan said.

Reach Piper Russell at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @PiperRussell10. 

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About the Contributor
Piper Russell
Piper Russell, News Editor
Piper Russell is one of The Collegian’s news editors this year and is thrilled to be working in the role. She started as a news reporter her sophomore year, covering news happening around the Colorado State University campus and the Fort Collins community. She continued to cover CSU and Fort Collins news as well as the Associated Students of CSU during her junior year. Russell is now a senior double majoring in journalism and media communication and Spanish. Although she began college undeclared, she quickly discovered her passion for journalism through the classes she took at CSU and her work at The Collegian. She’s always loved all things involving reading and writing, so working at The Collegian ended up being the perfect fit. As news editor, Russell ensures The Collegian covers important CSU and Fort Collins news accurately, truthfully and thoroughly. The Collegian has already given her many opportunities to hone her writing and reporting skills. She is very grateful and excited to have a leadership position at The Collegian, which will allow her to continue to grow as a reporter and editor. As well as writing, Russell can be found skiing, hiking, rafting and doing pretty much anything else outdoors, as she’s from the mountains. She loves traveling and hopes to do more of it in the future. She will also read any book she can get her hands on.

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