Pronoun Options Available for Students in Campus Directory

June 25, 2020

pronouns imageStudents at UC Santa Cruz now have the option to display their pronouns in the Campus Directory. This effort was driven by the Office of the Registrar and staff in the Information Technology Services (ITS) Products & Services team in response to requests from the campus community to make gender diversity more visible and promote inclusivity. This is an important milestone, and University Registrar Tchad Sanger says UC Santa Cruz was “the first in the UC system to have chosen/lived names and pronouns, and among the first in the nation,” but it didn’t happen overnight.

At the request of students to use their chosen/lived name (at the time the request was for a “preferred name”), the Office of the Registrar has been working on this project since 2008. In the past twelve years, the project has gone through many iterations. Initially, students had to fill out a request form to make this change and the change was processed manually by staff. Ever the trailblazer, in August of 2016, the Office of the Registrar, together with the Cantú Queer Center, launched self-service functionality in MyUCSC to allow students to add and update their gender, sexual identity, pronoun and preferred name; this is in conjunction with UC requirements to collect gender identity and sexual identity data at the time of application. Shortly after, the Office of the Registrar made chosen/lived names available to those using MyUCSC and to instructors by adding pronouns to class rosters.

In October of 2017, California passed the Gender Recognition Act (SB 179), a law that “creates a non-binary gender identity and makes it easier for Californians to obtain documents that reflect their gender”. UC Santa Cruz formed the SB179 Task Force, co-chaired by Teresa Maria Linda Scholz (Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and Travis Becker (Director for the Lionel Cantú Queer Resource Center), which was charged with making sure all of our internal systems provided “X” as an option, helping to ensure the inclusion and recognition of all members of our campus community.

In relation to consistency with providing the UC Santa Community the opportunity to also display their pronouns, the Campus Directory was updated facilitating staff and faculty to add pronouns through the CruzID Manager portal in October of 2019. As of May 2020, new updates to MyUCSC and the Campus Directory allow students to display pronouns in the directory. When a student indicates their pronoun in MyUCSC, it feeds directly into the Campus Directory. Additionally, pronouns are displayed in the user profile on SlugHub help tickets, allowing all ITS staff to address users with correct pronouns.

What are pronouns and why is this important? Pronouns refer to “either the people talking (you or I) or someone or something that is being talked about, e.g., she, they, and this. Gender pronouns, e.g., he or them, specifically refer to people that you are talking about.” At UC Santa Cruz, “we embrace diversity in all its forms and we strive for an inclusive community that fosters an open, enlightened and productive environment.” An important element in creating an open and inclusive community is the respectful use of gender pronouns. Assuming someone’s gender identity by their appearance or their name and using an incorrect gender pronoun to describe someone can make them feel disrespected or unwelcome. For information about the proper use of gender pronouns please see the University Style Guide.

pronoun imageHow can I update my pronouns? Students have the option of displaying or not displaying their pronouns in the Campus Directory by checking or unchecking the "Publish my pronoun in the Campus Directory" box on the My Pronoun page in MyUCSC*. 

Staff and faculty can update their Campus Directory profiles to display pronouns by logging into CruzID Manager and selecting “Directory Profile.”

Students who have questions regarding gender identity and sexual orientation data may refer to the Office of the Registrar’s FAQ page or contact the office at

How can I support those in the campus community who are trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming? To learn more about pronouns and how you can be more inclusive, you can contact the Lionel Cantu Queer Center and the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.