Say My Name Safety Pledge
The Say My Name Safety Pledge was created by SUBU Vice-President of Education Chiko Bwalya to give students a chance to be seen and recognised in all University settings, focusing on the use of chosen names and pronouns.
The need for the SMN Pledge came from student’s lived experiences in academic settings where their preferred names and pronouns were not used. Some found it meant they were interacted with less in class, while others felt humiliated and embarrassed due to academics and peers continuing to refer to them as another name or gender even after corrections have been made.
It is demoralising to not be referred to by your name, and for people to shy away from attempting to pronounce it. In the same vein, being misgendered or dead named* in any setting can cause people to withdraw from situations and feel excluded from what is going on around them.
By signing the Say My Name Safety Pledge, you not only agree that you will endeavour to proactively use people’s preferred names and pronouns, you also acknowledge the importance of this, and how establishing a safe space for all students to thrive in will have a positive impact on them throughout their academic journey.
This pledge is important for both staff and students to develop mutal respect and understanding.
*The use of a name someone has chosen not to use. This usually relates to using the birth name of someone who has changed their name as part of a gender transition.
We will actively respect Students and Staff’s preferred names and pronouns by
- Initially asking for the correct pronunciation of preferred first and last names and continuing to use this throughout the year
- Using and making others aware of another’s preferred pronouns in a discreet manor
- Utilising the inclusion of phonetic spelling on Brightspace before interacting with Students
- Including your own preferences e.g: spelling and pronouns during e-mail conversations with students (For example in your email signature)
- Not giving nicknames to students that they have not actively said they prefer for your own convenience
- Refraining from using someone’s ‘deadname’ if you are aware that they have a preferred name
- Respecting a student’s confidentiality if they confide in you about a change of gender, name, or preferred pronouns
In the classroom we will
- Make sure to be inclusive of everyone in the room and to include everyone in discussion
- Make sure others are respectful of the preferred pronouns and names of their peers
- Be consistent in interactions with all students and staff
- Acknowledge microaggressions in the classroom and during group work, and deal with them appropriately
- Aim to include a diverse curriculum that has a positive impact on all students
- We will abide by complaints policy and procedure when approached by students about being continuously misgendered, or having their name pronounced incorrectly
More information on this can be found here