Elon University, a small private liberal arts college in Elon, North Carolina, has made an official move to promote inclusivity, celebrate diversity, and ensure the campus isn’t promoting sexual stereotypes or creating an unsafe hostile environment for female students.
They have banned the term “freshman” from the faculty and student’s vocabulary. They’ve changed how their website reads and have been rigorous in their orientation leader workshops. “Freshman” will now be referred to as “first-year.” Administrators stepped in each time orientation leaders made the mistake of saying “freshman” and corrected them immediately.
“They engrained over and over in our brains that it was supposed to be ‘first-year,’ not ‘freshman,’” sophomore orientation leader Alaina Schukraft said. “They were very adamant about using the correct terminology and stressed the importance of using language that would make the new students feel comfortable.”
The director of Elon’s “Inclusive Community Wellbeing,” Leigh-Anne Royster, told The College Fix that replacing the term “freshman” with “first-year” is a “celebration of diversity.” She stated that the word “freshman” naturally insinuates a hierarchy among students and may contribute to sexual violence on campus because younger students are labeled as younger and less experienced.
“The term has often been felt to refer to the vulnerableness of young women in college for the first time,” Royster said. “Given the rates of sexual violence perpetrated against women on college campuses, it is useful to examine any use of a term that suggests that a group of people just entering college might be targets for such violence in any way.”
“Using language that allows for a more inclusive understanding of gender will be important in our culture moving forward,” she said. “Moving away from language, including pronouns, that denote a gender binary will be something we see more and more as our culture evolves to celebrate a wider range of identities and expressions.”
Greg Zaiser, vice president of admissions and financial planning, said, “‘Freshman’ isn’t necessarily wrong, but it’s not completely applicable to Elon’s entire population, which includes internationals, transfers, spring admits, along with traditional students beginning their first year on a college campus.” He added, “some believe the term ‘freshman’ is sexist.”
Do you feel that the term “freshman” is sexist? Do you think this change will cause the number of sexual crimes on campus to drop?
Tell us what you think in the comments.
Courtesy of Mad World News