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Penn State To Remove Term Freshmen Because It’s Too ‘Male-Specific’

Pennsylvania Headlines
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July 04 2021 08:00 pm

(WTRF)- The Penn State Faculty Senate voted in April to remove terms such as “freshmen,” “sophomore,” “junior” and “senior.”

The move was made to remove gender-specific and binary terms from course and program descriptions.

The new policy would include replacing he/him/his and she/her/hers with they/them/theirs or gender-neutral terms such as student, faculty members and staff members. Underclassmen and upperclassmen would be replaced with lower division and upper division.

The new policy would also replace freshman/sophomore/junior/senior with first-year (1st-year), second-year (2nd-year), third-year (3rd-year), fourth-year (4th-year), and beyond.

The policy said the university “has grown out of a typically male-centered world,” that many of these terms “carry a strong, male-centric” meaning and the words “can be interpreted as both sexist and classist.”

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