Laying the law down, student union officers at Oxford University issued a leaflet advising students to use gender neutral pronouns such as “ze” instead of “he” or “she.”
A student deliberately using the “wrong pronoun” for a transgender person will be charged with an offense under the university’s behavior code. The union hopes that gender neutral pronouns will pervade lectures and seminars, as well.
Sophie Buck, welfare officer at Oxford’s students’ union, said: “Events start with a speaker introducing themselves using a gender neutral pronoun. It’s part of a drive to make the union intersectional.”
Oxford’s Transgender Policy states: “Transphobic bullying and harassment could be regarded as grounds for disciplinary action, which may include expulsion or dismissal. Such behaviour will be dealt with under the University Policy on Harassment and Bullying.”
The University Policy on Harassment and Bullying states: “A person subjects another to harassment where s/he engages in unwanted and unwarranted conduct which has the purpose or effect of: (a) violating that other’s dignity, or
(b) creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that other. Harassment may involve repeated forms of unwanted and unwarranted behaviour, but a one-off incident can also amount to harassment.”
The Times reported that Cambridge University is considering a similar move.