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Pronoun and Preferred First Name Project

One of Yavapai College’s Strategic Goals is to foster a sense of Belonging for everyone in the college’s community. In those efforts, YC has created a space for students to list their pronouns and preferred names so that others may be able to refer to them correctly. The opportunity to show up as our true and full selves and to be appropriately addressed is vital to our sense of belonging.  

pronoun and name change information
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Sometimes the terms “preferred name” or “pronouns” may be confusing or out of context for us, so it’s important to learn what they mean. 

Preferred names 

Our names are an integral part of our identity. Sometimes the name we go by is our legal name, a nickname, or is something we choose for ourselves. Regardless of how someone gets their preferred name, it is essential that they are given the opportunity to share it so that they can be correctly addressed. Addressing someone with their correct name is a way to show respect and let them know their presence is welcome in our community. Yavapai College provides students the opportunity to upload their preferred name and pronouns through their YC Portal. This information should be used when addressing students and in all communications. 

Pronouns 

Lets talk about pronouns
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Pronouns are used in place of a person’s name, so it is essential that when referring to others we are using the pronouns that are correct for them. You are likely already familiar with the singular pronouns she/her/hers or he/him/his, but many people also use the singular they/them/theirs or other pronouns that are gender non-specific.  

It is good practice to ask which pronouns a person uses, and/or for faculty and staff to check whether a student has already selected pronouns. It is not good practice to assume someone’s pronouns based on their outward appearance. Respecting someone’s self-identification means using the gender pronouns with which they identify. Some people may go by more than one set of pronouns. 

If you do not know/have not asked someone’s pronouns, try to use “they/them” pronouns. Defaulting to “he/him” or “she/her” pronouns is not an inclusive way to address an individual. 

Interested in learning more? 

Here are some great resources you can use to learn even more about pronouns and preferred names. If you have any feedback, questions, or requests for trainings, please use the form below: 

Faculty and Staff Resources

Share a story, feedback, suggestion or concern

YC would love to hear from you! Please use the link below to share your thoughts with us. You can make suggestions, share your story, or even ask for help (like additional resources, meeting with someone to learn more, or trainings). 

Feedback is anonymous, so if you would like to be contacted, please include your name and YC email address.  

Use this feedback form to share your story, feedback, suggestion or concern regarding equity at YC.

Some of information on this page is adapted from The University of Massachusetts Amherst Stonewall Center, Ohio University, and Cambrian College.