Kennesaw State reverses course on gender-neutral restroom brochures

Kennesaw State University has removed its logo from pamphlets informing students, faculty, and staff about the use of gender-neutral pronouns and the locations of gender-neutral restrooms on campus. The university has also removed links to the brochure previously available on the college’s LGBT Resource Center’s website.

The university’s decision comes months after public outrage ensued over the availability of these resources and questions surrounding the university’s apparent endorsement of gender-neutral pronouns and restrooms.

The American Studies Student Organization (AMSTO) published a statement declaring that “these resources should be made available online once again,” and that “[Kennesaw State University President] Dr. Pamela Whitten and her administration need to come out in support of LGBTQ students broadly, and transgender students specifically.”

[RELATED: College lists ‘ne,’ ‘ve,’ ‘ey’ as gender-neutral pronouns]

“We deeply value the broad range of experiences and perspectives our students bring to KSU, and remain steadfast in our commitment to promote a supportive and inclusive environment where all students can be successful,” K.C. White, vice president for student affairs, said, according to The Sentinel, KSU’s student newspaper.

On March 26, state representatives in the Georgia General Assembly met with former Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Ken Harmon, who specifically addressed the pamphlets. Harmon said that there is “no official policy that mandates the use of gender-neutral pronouns” on KSU’s campuses.

Harmon explained that the university was not going to adopt the pamphlet and it is not “sanctioned by the university.”

Some students at KSU are lauding the university for its decision to remove the pamphlets.

Matthew Schmidt, a junior studying Elementary Education told Campus Reform that “if a person wants to be called anything other than standard pronouns, that’s okay.”

But, Schmidt added, “I do not think it should be my responsibility to go out of my way to learn them all, and to know what to say. If you want to be called something other than ‘he’ or ‘she,’ it’s up to you to tell people that. The university shouldn’t insinuate that they are sponsoring a policy to make students adhere to the use of new pronouns. They shouldn’t be involved at all.”

Georgia State Republican Representative Earl Erhart also weighed in on the controversy, later referring to the pronouns pamphlet as a set of “fantasy language” calling it “problematic,” and declaring that others may not find it “appropriate.”

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