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lexiebaynes
29th November 2023

Support for gender diverse students: Gender Expression Fund and option to add pronouns on Microsoft 365

Students can access a Gender Expression Fund, and add their pronouns on Microsoft 365, in two separate announcements which both aim to support gender diverse students
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Support for gender diverse students: Gender Expression Fund and option to add pronouns on Microsoft 365
Credit: Cecilie Johnsen @ Unsplash

The Gender Expression Fund and the option to change pronouns on Microsoft 365, introduced by the Students’ Union and University respectively, have been introduced with the hope of supporting trans and gender diverse students.

Gender Expression Fund

A Gender Expression Fund has been established by the Students’ Union which aims to provide trans and gender diverse students with financial support on their journey to gender affirmation.

The fund, launched on November 24, will allocate £100 per student per application in an effort to break down financial barriers.

Successful applicants will receive £100 to put towards gender-affirming products, with the website suggesting products such as “binders, packers, breast forms, clothing, and makeup.”

The payment can also be used to cover transport to medical and therapeutic appointments and care.

The criteria for applying for the fund include: being a registered UoM student; being trans, non-binary, intersex, or gender diverse; not having used the fund excessively before, unless there is reasonable justification; and not using the fund to contribute to fundraisers or give to others.

Students can apply for the fund via email before or after the planned expense. The Students’ Union aims to respond within two weeks.

The Students’ Union acknowledges “that expressing and embodying your gender in ways that feel good can be financially challenging, especially in light of the present cost of living.”

The Fund was secured by Aisha, the Students’ Union Executive for Wellbeing and Liberation, as part of her aim of increasing support for trans and gender diverse students.

Full information on the Fund is available on ‘Gender Expression Fund’ page on the Students’ Union website.

Pronouns on Microsoft 365

Students and staff are now able to add and display their gender pronouns on their Microsoft 365 profile, following a University announcement on November 23.

Programmes such as Teams and Outlook are run by the major software platform.

This decision is part of an effort to “remove another barrier for our non-binary and trans communities.”

Following the University’s decision to enable the feature, users are no longer required to manually type their pronouns in their communications, as their pronouns will be automatically shown in their profile.

This is an optional feature, and only the user can decide if they want their pronouns to be shown on their profile.

In a University statement, Banji Adewumi, the Director of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), stated that the decision “will not only support our colleagues and students across the University in preventing misgendering, but also helps in creating a sense of belonging.”

Alexandra Baynes

Alexandra Baynes

Head Editor of Opinion Section. Radio Host on Fuse FM. Twitter: @lexiebayness

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