Yale to Ditch "Freshman", "Upperclassmen", Adopt Gender-Neutral Terms


September 19, 2017 2:16 PM
by Susan Dutca
In an effort to modernize, Yale will no longer use the terms freshman and underclassmen and will instead adopt gender-neutral terminology, such as first-year and upper-level students. University officials still anticipate students and faculty to use the old terminology, since they're deeply ingrained in our everyday language and in Yale's history. 

The new terminology can be found in the Undergraduate Regulations and the First-Year Handbook and is expected to appear in all Yale College's publications and communications by the start of the 2018-2019 academic year. The effort to phase out the older terminology is a piece of a larger movement to reflect the diversity of college campuses and also in part because the two words in particular are gendered, according to Jennifer Keup, Director Of the National Resource for the First-Year-Experience and students in Transition.

In an effort to modernize, Yale will no longer use the terms "freshman" and "underclassmen" and will instead adopt gender-neutral terminology, such as "first-year" and "upper-level students." University officials still anticipate students and faculty to use the old terminology, since they're "deeply ingrained in our everyday language and in Yale's history."

The new terminology can be found in the Undergraduate Regulations and the First-Year Handbook and is expected to appear in all Yale College's publications and communications by the start of the 2018-2019 academic year. The effort to phase out the older terminology is "a piece of a larger movement to reflect the diversity of college campuses" and also in part because the "two words in particular are gendered," according to Jennifer Keup, Director Of the National Resource for the First-Year-Experience and students in Transition.

Even with the shift, the Dean of Yale College, Marvin Chun, anticipates "that the members of our community, ourselves included, will continue to use these [older] terms as they or we see fit, without feeling that anyone is out of compliance with an official policy." This is no new trend - other schools including Dartmouth College, Cornell University and Columbia University already use the term "first-year" in most publications. Do you approve of this change? Why or why not?

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Emma H  on  11/14/2017 12:36:19 PM commented:

Are you kidding me....? This is so incredibly unnecessary. "Man" is the root of SO many words in the English language. It has been since the beginning of the language itself. It has nothing to do with sexism. When somebody says "Freshman" they're not only talking about males. When someone says "Mankind", they're not only talking about males. It's a term used to encompass all humans. Even WOMAN has MAN in it. So, what are we going to start calling women? Wo-people? Come on man.... (oops, sorry, was that sexist?)

Lot amelunke  on  11/7/2017 5:33:47 PM commented:

Ridiculous!!!!!

Bobbi T.  on  9/20/2017 1:28:42 PM commented:

Really?

FL  on  9/20/2017 12:30:46 PM commented:

How is this breaking news if many CSUs have been using this type of terminology?

Jon T.  on  9/20/2017 10:20:49 AM commented:

This is just stupid..... we don't need more pc anti free speech rhetoric. We need more real, open communication.

Pedro Vaillant  on  9/20/2017 10:08:20 AM commented:

I do like the new terms, but I also feel unnecessary. I honestly don't care what I go title colleges want me to go by, I just want to pass my classes. All I could say is I hope these changes isn't solely for political correctness.

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