- In April, the University’s Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs passed the ‘Removal of Gendered & Binary Terms from Course and Program Descriptions’
- The senate recommended replacing freshman/sophomore/junior/senior with ‘first-year’,’ second-year’ etc.
- Other recommendations included replacing ‘underclassmen’ and ‘upperclassmen’ with ‘lower division’ and ‘upper division’
- The phrase ‘him or her’ was also replaced with ‘them’ in a bid to become gender neutral
- Reaction to the resolution online has been mixed, with some people mocking the move as a failed attempt to be ‘woke’
Pennsylvania State University has been mocked after axing the words ‘freshman,’ ‘junior’ and ‘senior’ – as well as the phrase ‘him or her’ over fears they’re sexist.
Last month, the University’s Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs passed the ‘Removal of Gendered & Binary Terms from Course and Program Descriptions’ resolution with a majority vote. They said the axed terms were examples of ‘male-centric’ terminology that needed to be updated with more inclusive words.
Among the concerns raised by the committee were that ‘freshmen’ were too male-specific, with ‘junior’ and ‘senior’ axed for being ‘parallel to western male father-son naming conventions.’
The phrase ‘upperclassmen’ was condemned for being ‘both sexist and classist,’ while the new rules also lashed Penn’s existing documentation for many appearances by he/she pronouns.’
The bill was one of several equity and diversity resolutions to pass at the Senate’s April 27 meeting, Penn State News reported.
The changes for gendered terms would apply to all written materials, including both internal and outward-facing documents, Fox News reported.
The senate also recommended replacing freshman/sophomore/junior/senior with ‘first-year’,’ second-year’ etc.
Its members suggested replacing gendered pronouns with neutral terms like ‘student,’ ‘faculty member’ or staff member.’