Penn State University will drop ‘male-centric’ terms like ‘freshman’ and ‘senior’ – as well as the words ‘he and her’ – in a bid to ‘become more inclusive’

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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.

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