Campus Reform | VIDEO: Columbia University encourages students to report each other for ‘misgendering,’ refusing to use fringe pronouns

VIDEO: Columbia University encourages students to report each other for ‘misgendering,’ refusing to use fringe pronouns

Columbia University recently published a video on the school’s website that breaks down the supposed importance of using chosen pronouns for transgender individuals.

The video, titled ‘Why Pronouns Matter,’ was posted alongside various guides and resources for students, faculty, and instructors.

Columbia University recently published a video detailing for students the use of fringe transgender pronouns like “ze/hir” and encouraging them to report their peers for “refusing to use” others’ chosen pronouns.

The video was uploaded to the university YouTube account in September, and is featured on a university webpage that provides information to “help you to learn more about pronouns in use, gender identity and other resources.”

The video, titled “Why Pronouns Matter”, highlights the supposed importance of presenting one’s pronouns to others in day-to-day activities, such as adding them to social media bios and emails. 

The university presents various types of pronouns and how to properly use them when referring to others, offering examples like “they/them, xe/xem, ze/hir, per/pers, and ey/em.”

The video warns students that “Intentionally misgendering someone by refusing to use the correct pronouns or name is a violation of the Columbia university non-discrimination policy,” and encourages students to visit Columbia’s website if they need to “report an incident.” 

“You can’t know a person’s gender by just looking at them,” the video claims. 

The video concludes with examples of ways sharing your pronouns can be done. 

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Forget the Gender Unicorn, Genderbread Person is here to explain sexuality]

“Normalizing pronoun sharing helps create a safer space for people of all genders and gender expressions. So, in introductions, share your own pronouns first,” it explains “Use pronouns with your name in meetings and on name tags and add your pronouns and this video to your email signatures, in your bio, and in chat. Together, we can create a more inclusive Columbia community for all of those around us.”


A Columbia University student, who requested to remain anonymous for fear of compromising his employment at the school told Campus Reform that he thinks “the video is delusional.”

“People, liberal or not, won't introduce themselves with their pronouns in conversations because for almost everyone, it's obvious,” the student told Campus Reform. “And in my time here, no one has introduced themselves in a conversation with their pronouns.”

The student added that Columbia University's decision to prioritize information on pronoun usage is not the best use of the school’s time and resources, saying “They're probably wasting thousands of dollars on this, while the university is increasingly unsafe from a crime standpoint, and the infrastructure is subpar. 

“Classrooms are crowded and athletic facilities are inferior. They also have billions in endowment funds yet all these problems persist,” the student added.

The student says he will not “put any pronoun in my bios. Certainly not in social media,” but says he is “afraid we're moving towards a requirement that we do this on emails.”

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: 'Action could be taken' against students using wrong pronouns at PPU]

Derric Lee is another Columbia student and says pronouns aren’t as big of a deal as the school is making them out to be. 

“Even at Columbia, in the middle of New York City, one of the most liberal areas in the whole country, I have yet to meet anyone or hear anyone who uses pronouns outside of she/he/they and I’ve been here for four years,” Lee told Campus Reform

“It’s also not like you’ll be looked at crazy for misgendering someone either unless you’re intentionally doing it in a way that’s obviously disrespectful,” Lee added.

Guide to Pronouns in Use for Students is linked in the article which breaks down how to register your pronouns through the university and why it is important to do so.

According to the guide, students can officially register the following pronoun options with the university:

  • She/Her/Hers
  • He/Him/His
  • They/Them/Theirs
  • Ze/Hir/Hirs
  • Use my name as my pronoun


There is also a Guide to Pronouns in Use for Faculty and Instructors that describes the importance for professors and faculty at Columbia University to respect students’ preferred identities. 

“A person's pronouns are shared to avoid assumptions about how someone would like to be referred to in the third person. In particular, this may be true for students who are gender nonbinary or who have names that are gender neutral or from a language that is unfamiliar to faculty,” the faculty and instructors guide reads.

Campus Reform reached out to Columbia University for comment, but did not receive a response.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @logandubil