Penn State Approves To Stop Using 'Freshman,' 'Sophomore' Terms And Others Due To 'Male-Centric Academic History'
Penn State's Faculty Senate has approved a proposition that would remove gendered and binary terms from their course and program descriptions, according to the university's student-operated newspaper The Daily Collegian.
The proposition recommends changing the terms freshman, sophomore, junior and senior to first-year, second-year, third-year, fourth-year, and beyond. As well as replacing the terms “underclassmen” and “upperclassmen” with “lower division” and “upper division.”
According to the proposition, terms like “freshman” and “upperclassmen” carry a strong, male-centric, binary character to them and can be interpreted as both sexist and classist. They go on to say terms like “junior” and “senior” are parallel to western male father-son naming conventions.
The proposition states the university has “grown out of a typically male-centered world.”