The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

S&B will use gender-neutral pronouns

The Scarlet & Black is instituting a new policy regarding pronouns. As of this week, we will refer to individuals by their pronoun of choice, including gender-neutral pronouns such as “ze” and “zir.” If no pronoun is specified, we will continue to use “he” and “she.” Our previous policy was to use only “he” and “she” pronouns and to avoid the use of pronouns entirely when an individual has requested a different pronoun.

We are making this change in the hopes of becoming a more inclusive and socially just publication. We formerly adhered to the practices of the Associated Press, which uses only “he” and “she.” However, we came to the conclusion that this style does not properly reflect the variety of identities of the Grinnell student body, nor the principles of our institution, as established in our Student Statement of Values. Therefore, we make this change in order to create a more comfortable atmosphere for our audience and report on that audience in the most accurate manner. We further hope to engender discussion about the spectrum of identities present on this campus.

We recognize that using non-standard pronouns may be confusing to our readers at first. There will be a brief editor’s note accompanying each article in which they are used and this editorial will be linked to each article online. If any of our readers have any questions or comments about this policy, we welcome letters to the editor, which will be published in upcoming weeks.

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  • J

    Jessica '09Apr 29, 2011 at 11:44 pm

    I appreciate the announcement but am frankly surprised that these pronouns were considered controversial within a Grinnell publication until now.

    Reply
  • G

    GoeringmApr 27, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    Can it, Cell. S&B, this is bold and brave. Kudos to you for moving quickly to implement the statement of values in your piece of Grinnell.

    Reply
  • P

    Paul LeitchApr 24, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    the kids, including me, were a bunch of smart -bright-creative-sensitive-caring-concerned-emotional-compulsive-a little bit manic & crazy and things have not changed all that much since I graduated. Paul Duncan Leitch Grinnell72 Memphis, TN, retired lawyer.

    Reply
  • J

    Jon Cell '04Apr 23, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Is this an April Fool’s Joke that is a few weeks late?

    “report on that audience in the most accurate manner” –> yes, by using the terms “ze” and “zir”. Right.

    Reply