ANN ARBOR (WWJ/AP) -- Earlier this week, University of Michigan officials announced students can now designate a personal pronoun that will be reflected on class rosters.
Spokesman Rick Fitzgerald says students registering online can choose whether they'd like their professor to refer to them as he, she, ze, etc.
Grant Strobl, chairman of the Young Americans for Freedom, is taking full advantage of the change in policy -- he officially changed his pronoun to "his majesty" on his class rosters.
"I decided, since people can identify as whatever they want, I might as well identify as 'his majesty,'" Strobl told WWJ Newsradio 950.
"The proposed so-called pronouns that students can choose from include words like 'ze' and 'they,'" Strobl said. "One is not a real pronoun and the other doesn't refer to a single person."
Ze -- according to an online guide published by the Lesbian, Bi, Gay, Transgender Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee — one of several gender neutral or gender inclusive pronouns which do not associate a gender with the individual who is being discussed.
"…The dichotomy of he and she in English does not leave room for other gender identities, which is a source of frustration to the transgender and gender queer communities," the guide explains.
Provost Martha Pollack is telling faculty to check the rosters in a few weeks to give students time to designate one, although a registered pronoun is not required.
Pollack said correctly using someone's pronoun "is one of the most basic ways to show respect" for a student's identity. The policy was developed over the past year by a university pronoun committee.
Strobl said he is not trying to disrespect anyone and has gotten lots of support from other students.
"I once again value all humans and all people and I simply am asking for the university to revert back to reality on this one and revert back to the English language," Strobl said.
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