According to multiple news sources, Houghton University, a Christian institution in upstate New York, recently fired two residence hall directors who chose to include their “pronouns” in their work email signatures. The two employees, Raegan Zelaya and Shua Wilmot, asserted that this move “demonstrated inclusivity”; the university, which adheres to the theology of the Methodist Church, asked the employees to remove the pronouns. Both refused, and both were terminated.
While a university spokesman has stated that employment was not terminated “solely” over the pronoun issue, Wilmot disagreed. “I think it boils down to: they want to be trans-exclusive and they want to communicate that to potential students and the parents of potential students,” Wilmot stated. Some alumni have signed a petition protesting the decision, with some current students also expressing their dissatisfaction. Houghton previously declined to recognize an LGBT club on campus.