Sussex’s Students’ Union has been forced to defend their gender inclusive language policy after inaccurate press coverage.

The Sun and the Daily Mail both reported on the newly introduced policy, with the Mail falsely claiming that the Students’ Union had banned the use of ‘he’ and ‘she’ to prevent misgendering.

Postgraduate Education Officer Rose Taylor said: “It’s frustrating when issues that students feel strongly about are misrepresented, particularly because it moves the focus away from the important issue of ensuring that students feel included and safe in the Students’ Union.

The policy, which was passed by Union Council in December and applies to all areas of the Students’ Union, asks that gender-neutral language be used for people who have not directly stated their pronouns or where introductions are not appropriate to prevent misgendering.

Ms Taylor added: “I hope people are reading further into the policy and seeing that the headlines were inaccurate and we have not banned the words ‘he’ and ‘she’.

However, not everyone has expressed support for the policy. On Facebook, former Sussex student Jay Newton said: “I’m all for equality but if a small minority of social justice warriors keep pushing their extremist views onto society then people will be inclined to take drastic measures to defend their own values.”

In 2013, the Mail also falsely claimed that Sussex would install three types of toilets to make all students feel welcome.

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Daniel Green

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