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Catholic University Unveils ‘Gender Inclusive’ Guidance

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Townhall reported how a public school district in Texas passed a slew of policies last week surrounding transgender students. This included prohibiting transgender athlete participation, not allowing the use of preferred pronouns, among other things. This week, a Catholic university announced that they will be taking an opposite approach to their transgender students and encourage the use of preferred pronouns and “intervening” when a student is “misgendered.”

Villanova University, a Catholic college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, rolled out the new guidelines for faculty and staff to follow to create a “gender inclusive” campus in the upcoming school year. 

The Gender Inclusive Practices Guide starts by explaining that going forward, all students, faculty and staff will have their “chosen name” listed on class rosters and all other school communications. A “chosen name” is a first name different from the first name someone was given at birth. For a student who is transgender, it could be a first name that aligns with their “gender identity.”

“This guide introduces Villanova faculty and staff to best practices for being gender inclusive in our work spaces, laboratories, and classrooms—especially for those who identify within transgender, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, and/or gender questioning communities,” the guidance reads. It adds that the suggestions are not comprehensive, but a starting point.

The school advises faculty and staff to add a “gender inclusion statement” to their class syllabus or orientation documents. In addition, it outlines guidance about “misgendering” transgender individuals and encourages students, faculty and staff to intervene if they hear someone misgender someone else, noting that “mistakes do happen.”

The school’s website states that “gender inclusivity” is a crucial element to the school’s diversity mission

Townhall covered this month how an all-girls school in Nashville reversed course on its “gender inclusivity” policy that would start to allow biological males who identify as women to attend the school.

Harpeth Hall School, which dates back to 1865 and includes alumnae like comedian Minnie Pearl, singer Amy Grant and actresses Willa Fitzgerald and Reese Witherspoon, paused the implementation of their new “Gender Diversity Philosophy” that would have allowed males into the school after “strong reactions” from families of current students and school donors.

“We recognize that this philosophy elicited strong reactions of support and oppositions beyond our expectations. We care deeply about your feedback and we have heard you. The Harpeth Hall Board of Trustees is choosing to pause the adoptions of the philosophy in order to engage a wider audience in continued discussion,” the school said in a statement.

Local outlet WKRN noted that “several alums that wanted to remain anonymous” said they were not in favor of the new gender policy and were glad the school decided to pause it. 

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