Ohio University’s proposed policy says students and staff ‘must’ call others by their ‘chosen first name’
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A proposed policy at the University of Toledo in Ohio states that members of the university community “must” address others by their “chosen first name.”
The policy, titled “Gender Inclusive Practices”, was proposed by the university’s Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and states that all students, faculty and staff “must “call others by their “chosen first name” in “all communications”. .”
“An individual’s chosen first name is to be used by all UToledo students, staff, and faculty in all communications,” the proposed policy reads. “The University of Toledo recognizes the importance for students, faculty and staff to be able to use names other than their legal names to identify themselves for a variety of reasons.”
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Under the policy, any member of the University of Toledo community can change their chosen first name by accessing the university’s online portal.
The chosen first name will appear on several university documents and services, including course listings, Blackboard, eDirectory, and more.
A person’s chosen first name will also appear on their official University of Toledo ID card, in accordance with the policy.
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Cherise Trump, executive director of Speech First, told Fox News Digital that these kinds of policies open the door to more censorship.
“We often see attempts on campuses to constrain speech under the guise of ‘inclusion.’ Policies like these can put students in situations where they no longer feel able to speak freely. This type of politics opens the door to a culture of censorship,” Trump said.
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A spokesperson for the University of Toledo did not say whether there would be penalties for anyone who does not call others by their chosen first name, but said the policy is proposed to “respect and affirm the identity of all members of the University of Toledo community.”
“The Gender Inclusive Practices Policy has been proposed to respect and affirm the identity of all members of the University of Toledo community in accordance with our commitment to fostering an inclusive environment. It is aligned with the Plan University’s LGBTQA+ Strategy. At this time, the proposed policy is posted for comment. We will review the comments received and the draft policy may change based on the comments received,” the spokesperson said.
The deadline for members of the University of Toledo community to comment on the proposed policy is March 21.