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Updating your Pronouns

The future is diverse. Stanford’s IDEAL initiative hopes to create an inclusive, accessible, diverse and equitable university for all community members. 

On this page:

What are pronouns?

We use pronouns to refer to someone, places and things. To refer to an individual, it’s respectful to use the pronouns they prefer. For example, someone who identifies as genderqueer, nonbinary or transgender may prefer pronouns other than she/her or he/him. 


 Why do we ask for pronouns?

We invite all students to participate in normalizing the sharing of pronouns and creating an inclusive campus experience by self-identifying in Axess and using your pronouns in conversations with campus community members. 

No matter how someone may look or act, we do not know their identities or pronouns until they tell us themselves. For this reason, and to support respectful communications, Stanford includes a set of gender-expansive pronoun options in Axess for students to choose. 

When you don’t know, use a person’s name or default to “they/them” to refer to someone. Introducing yourself and including your pronouns can create an inclusive space, encouraging others to share their pronouns as well.


 What are my options?

At Stanford you may select from one of the following pronouns in Axess on your profile page:

  • Any
  • He/him
  • She/her
  • They/them
  • He or she
  • He or they
  • She or he
  • She or they
  • They or he
  • They or she
  • Use my name
  • Please ask me about my pronouns
  • <blank>

We recognize that people use different pronouns and want to be inclusive. To suggest the inclusion of a pronoun not included in this list, see How do I provide feedback on pronouns?


 How do I add or update my pronouns?

Students can add or change their pronouns in Axess:

  1. Scan for your photo and name in the top bar of Axess
Axess header showing Student role and Profile icon
  1. Click on your photo to see the menu and option My Axess Profile
Axess (Student role) showing My Axess Profile menu
  1. Scan for the Pronouns label 
    • If set, you will see your current pronouns here
    • If blank, you don’t currently have any pronouns set in Axess
Personal Information panel in Axess for Pronoun update
  1. Click the Edit button
  2. Click on the > (right arrow)
  3. Select a pronoun option from the dropdown menu
  4. Click Save to confirm your pronoun selection


 How will my pronouns be used?

Pronouns entered by students in Axess will be shared with campus systems to support respectful communications in academic settings and between campus community members.

Pronouns will be included in Canvas on class rosters and in many places where student name is displayed.

There are also plans to include pronouns in Stanford’s directory, viewable when logged in (Stanford-only is the default setting), and from outside Stanford if the privacy setting is set to Public. Over time, pronouns will be shared with additional campus systems like housing, and the advising portal to support respectful communications among campus community members.

Pronouns will not be displayed on your student bill. 


 How will my data be protected?

Although Stanford doesn't consider pronouns to be highly sensitive data, only authorized school officials (e.g., staff, advisors and others with a legitimate educational interest) and your classmates have access to view them. If a third party contacts Stanford and requests your pronouns, we won't release that information unless you've provided explicit consent for us to do so.

Full information on pronoun data use and protection can be found on the IDEAL website.


How can I provide feedback on pronouns?

If you have a technical question, contact the Student Services Center
For general feedback and suggestions, complete this Pronouns Feedback Form.