In a move seen to particularly benefit members of the LGBTQIA community, De La Salle University’s online learning management system – called AnimoSpace – now allows students to choose preferred pronouns.
Used by De La Salle University, AnimoSpace is an online learning management system where students usually submit their assignments, receive notifications on announcements, and communicate with professors. The university’s Academic Support for Instructional Services and Technology (DLSU ASIST) manages AnimoSpace.
First announced through AnimoSpace and the university’s news publications, this is said to be in line with DLSU’s Project DIVERSE, which seeks to foster inclusivity and diversity within the university.
“Throughout the years, LGBTQIA+ students have been left repressed by our society’s culture of queerphobia, ignorance, and intolerance. This systemic hatred experienced by the LGBTQIA+ community is also a frequent occurrence for queer Lasallians, wherein there have been multiple instances of misgendering among trans and gender non-conforming students,” said Andrei Rosario, president of the House of Iris VC, and LGBTQIA+ representative of the Arts College Government (Council of Student Sectors). “By allowing users to put their preferred pronouns on AnimoSpace, DLSU is taking a big step in ensuring that no queer Lasallian is left unheard.”
DLSU-Manila currently has LGBTQIA+ student representation in the university governments, such as the Commission on Gender Equality for the University Student Government (USG) and the LGBTQIA+ representatives for the Council of Student Sectors (COSS). According to Rosario, these organizations have been instrumental in advancing the rights of queer students on campus.
Nonetheless, “the university’s efforts to ensure the welfare and appropriate representation of LGBTQIA+ Lasallians are noticeably lacking. The university has yet to implement a comprehensive policy that guarantees the rights of students regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC). Moreover, appropriate gender-sensitivity training for professors and students is noticeably absent within the university.”
The House of Iris VC, all the same, “hopes that this may be a stepping stone for more pro-LGBTQIA+ policies within the university. LGBTQIA+ Lasallians still face intolerance, ignorance, and misrepresentation. We continue to demand the implementation of a comprehensive SOGIESC curriculum for all students and staff, affirmative mental health counseling for LGBTQIA+ students, and anti-discrimination policies for queer students. Additionally, we hope that this action taken by DLSU would influence schools throughout the country to ensure inclusivity within their campuses.”