Universities are still policing language as fall semester starts

Smith College tells students to avoid using term the terms ‘Freshmen’ and ‘Chairman.'

Penn State's Faculty Senate removed the terms 'freshman' and 'sophomore.'

Across the nation, universities are updating their style guides and resource materials to include politically correct language.

Located in Massachusetts, Smith College's style guide going into the fall 2022 semester calls on students to use “inclusive language,” including avoiding the use of gender pronouns.

“Avoid using ‘chairman.’ You could also use ‘presiding officer,’ ‘coordinator’ or ‘convener,’” the style guide reads. 

The guide even suggests that alumni of the school should not be referred to as “Smith alumnae.” Instead, the term “‘Smithies’ can be also used as a nongendered alternative.” 

[Related: FIU tells students to avoid saying 'husband,' 'wife,' or ‘you may kiss the bride’]

Students should also “[a]void stereotyping or using language that is insensitive to cultural differences or that unwittingly marginalizes, excludes or offends any group of people.”

Smith’s style guide follows an undercurrent of language policing across the nation’s college campuses. 

In August of 2021, for example, Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Faculty Senate updated their "Chosen Identity Policy" to including the terms “they, them, theirs.”

The policy states that it supports, “the establishment of a chosen name, gender identity, name prefixes, pronouns, and sexual orientation for use within University systems."

The University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) has also adopted a similar protocol in its most recent style guide. 

[RELATED: Rice drops 'master' title to promote 'inclusive environment']

Under the “Gender Sensitivities” category, students and faculty are recommended to replace the words “waiter/waitress” with “server.”

The guide also recommends that students and faculty use “humankind” instead of “mankind.” 

Campus Reform contacted all parties mentioned for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.