February 1, 2023

University Requires Use of Preferred Pronouns

U. of New Mexico policy declares ‘[t]he intentional or persistent refusal in order to respect a preferred or affirmed name or pronoun can constitute discrimination or even harassment. ‘

The University of New Mexico (UNM) has a policy designed to make school personnel comply with preferred pronouns.  

Outlined in its “ Policies plus Procedures Manual, ”   Policy 2720   states that “[t]he intentional or even persistent refusal to respect a preferred or confirmed name or pronoun may constitute discrimination or nuisance. ”

“ Individuals shall not be necessary to obtain a court-ordered name modify before being addressed by first name and pronoun that corresponds to their sex identity, ” the plan states in the manual’s “ Gender Identity” section.  

The  manual   “ serves as the official reference source for institutional policies and procedures” to “ aid those persons in the different organizations of the University responsible for carrying out the administrative functions of their organizations. ”

The specific policy does not specify which repercussions people would face for using pronouns based on a person’s natural sex.

UNM appears to have added the policy to its website in the spring 2018 term. The university did not have a “ Gender Identity” section in its manual earlier to the up-date.  

The policy also gives college students the option to pick their bathing rooms. It states that “[i]ndividuals shall be supplied access to designated gender-specific facilities consistent with their gender identification. ”

UNM Residence Life also  allows   students to “ pick a space that aligns with their gender identity, without the need for documents. ”

While it is unclear how these policies can be reconciled with a student’s First Amendment rights, the policy assures it “ is not intended to lessen or restrict free conversation or the expression of ideas. ”

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