(Campus Reform) Yale University may soon formally replace the term “freshman” with “first-year student” in an effort to “reflect the values” of the institution.
According to the The Yale Daily News, administrators are in favor of the more-inclusive alternative, though there is no clear timeline for when the official change will actually be made.
“It’s not written in stone that it has to be ‘freshman’…we do have some agency in what we call things.”
Dean of Student Affairs Camille Lizarríbar, who has been at the forefront of the conversation surrounding the change, explained that she hopes the switch will be made “before the next academic year.”
“I think there comes a time when you want to make sure that the way you’re calling things reflects the values that you have,” she elaborated, suggesting that if Yale “is serious about inclusivity and diversity,” it must consider every idea, including unorthodox ideas.
“It’s not written in stone that it has to be ‘freshman’…we do have some agency in what we call things,” she added, noting that several peer institutions including Dartmouth College, Cornell University, and Amherst College have already adopted gender-inclusive alternatives to the traditional designation.
Jonathan Holloway, the dean of Yale College, credited Holloway with reinvigorating the notion since taking over the deanship just over a year ago, but told the Daily News that he has long fielded complaints from students and parents concerned about the gender-specificity that the word “freshman” implies…