Gay rights official at Knoxville campus wrote new language instructions
Tells students and staff to use unusual, gender-neutral pronouns like ‘xe’
Donna Braquet said that the new regime would make campus ‘inclusive’
University clarified that guidelines are not compulsory after critics called them ‘absurd’
The university published the instructions on its website on Wednesday after they were emailed to every member of the university by the institution’s Vice Chancellor for Diversity.
Officials have since insisted the the guidelines are not compulsory and that they do not want to ‘dictate speech’.
Donna Braquet, who runs the university’s Pride Center, wrote the guidelines, which are accompanied with a long table demonstrating how to replace the regular parts of speech.
She also advises staff members not to call roll in class, and to instead greet every student by asking them to announce their name and pronoun of preference.
Instead of ‘he’ and ‘she’, Braquet suggests four alternatives.
One is the commonplace strategy of using ‘they’, ‘them’ and ‘their’ for individuals rather than groups.
She also suggests ‘ze’ and ‘xe’ – both pronounced ‘zhee’ – and a variety of secondary conjugations to be used for anybody who rejects the traditional gender binary.
Barquet argues that if everybody follows her instructions, campus will become ‘more inclusive
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