The University of Vermont spent $80,000 and six months adding gender-neutral options to its information system in 2009, and has continued to update it to add even more choices.
In September, the system was updated to allow students to request being called “they,” something it had previously rejected, since it is grammatically a plural pronoun, according to an article in the New York Times published this week.
UVM was the first school in the country to allow students to select which pronoun they preferred in its system. The system also allows them to select “name only,” which means the student is opposed to pronouns in general and wants to be addressed only by name — something more than 200 transgender students have selected since 2009, according to the Times.
Of course, even before the software update, transgender students who did use another name could already inform the school about it and have it changed in the system — but this required an in-person visit to the dean’s office and filling out some paperwork, and advocates said this was too much to ask.
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.