Pennsylvania State University is the latest college to make a move towards wokemania, after the faculty passed a resolution getting rid of terms like ‘freshman’ and ‘senior’ for not being gender inclusive.
The Senate Committee on Curricular Affairs at the school passed the ‘Removal of Gendered & Binary Terms from Course and Program Descriptions’ resolution and it was signed by over two dozen professors and administrators, according to a report from Campus Reform.
Under the resolution, terms such as ‘freshman,’ ‘underclassman,’ ‘senior,’ and ‘upperclassman’ are being retired in the name of inclusivity.
These terms are apparently “decidedly male-specific” while terms such as ‘upperclassmen’ can be interpreted as being “both sexist and classist,” the resolution states, arguing that Penn State “has grown out of a typically male-centered world.”
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Terms like ‘junior’ and ‘senior’ stem from father-son conventions, according to the resolution, making them also non-inclusive.
The words will be replaced with phrases like ‘first year,’ ‘second year,’ etc. After concerns were raised about students going to school beyond four years to get their degrees, the resolution stated that those going beyond ‘fourth year’ would be referred to as ‘advanced standing students.’
‘Upperclassman’ and ‘underclassman’ should be replaced with the terms ‘lower division’ and ‘upper division’ too, the resolution states.
On top of replacing the long-used terms, the school is also looking to move towards more gender-generic pronouns. Instead of using ‘he’ or ‘she,’ it is planning to use more vague terms like ‘they’ in course descriptions.
The University of Virginia similarly passed a student ballot measure that replaces gender-specific terms with more generic pronouns in the school’s constitution.
A proposed edit for Penn State is presented in the document that replaces “him or her” with “them.”
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Courses that “delve into gender studies,” however, can continue using gender-specific pronouns, such as ‘feminist’ and ‘women’s.’
All “gendered” language, however, in written materials about the school should be changed, according to the resolution.
“We suggest that the University consider changes to all written materials, including recruiting materials, admissions materials, scholarship information, housing materials, other outward-facing documents, internal documents, and websites,” it reads.
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