Pennsylvania State University will no longer use labels like “freshman,” “junior,” or “senior,” because such terms are not inclusive enough and perpetuate a Western male-dominated viewpoint.
What are the details?
On April 27, Penn State’s faculty senate announced the passage of an “inclusive language” resolution that has effectively banned the use of “paternalistic” terms such as “freshmen,” “junior,” “senior,” “upperclassmen,” “underclassmen,” and more, according to Penn State News.
The Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs passed the resolution — titled “Removal of Gendered & Binary Terms from Course and Program Descriptions” — with a majority vote.
A portion of the resolution reads, “The University, as with most all academic institutions world-wide, has grown out of a typically male-centered world. As such, many terms in our lexicon carry a strong, male-centric, binary character to them. Terms such as ‘freshmen’ are decidedly male-specific, while terms such as ‘upperclassmen’ can be interpreted as both sexist and classist.”The Blaze
Not even “junior” and “senior” are exempt from the senate’s inclusive microscope, as such terms are “parallel to western male father-son naming conventions, and much of our written documentation uses he/she pronouns.”
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