Ireland’s reputed Trinity College Dublin has taken ‘political correctness’ to a new level as they ban the term ‘freshman’ and instead opt for a more gender-neutral term – ‘fresh.’ Vice Provost, Chris Morash and Students’ Union President Kevin Keane said the college’s “Equality Committee” had approved a plan to amend the “the title given to first and second-year undergraduates students from ‘Freshman’ to the gender-neutral term ‘Fresh'.”
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This change comes on the back of a similar event last year when the college announced ‘gender-neutral’ toilets last year. It was claimed that the changes are an effort marking the college’s commitment to gender equality,” acknowledging the 100 year anniversary of women’s suffrage in Ireland.
The college famous for its elite alumni including the likes of Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, and Samuel Beckett, only to name a few, has gone from being an institution known for its thriving environment for young students to air their views to being held hostage to political correctness.
Strangely, this isn’t the first such occurrence. In 2012, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill removed the word ‘freshman’ from all University documents as part of a conscious effort to use ‘gender inclusive language,’ as reported in the Daily Caller.
More recently in 2014, Elon University banned the term as it supposedly encouraged an “unsafe environment for female students.” One of the other high-profile colleges to make the move was Yale University who removed the term earlier this year.
Other similar incidents were when the University of East Anglia banned students from wearing sombreros they got as a freebie from a local Tex-Mex restaurant since the student union thought non-Mexicans wearing sombreros might be racist.
The Oxford University canceled a debate on abortion since the female students thought that the presence of a ‘person without a uterus’ on the panel, indicating a male, would be offensive. These measures might seem to be a sign of sensitivity and an effort to encourage ‘gender-neutral’ atmosphere, but in reality, does not help the youth.
Stifling the freedom of speech and the ability to have a free dialogue hinders the ability to recognize, understand and respect someone with a different view. In all fairness, instead of banning words, the college should help students cope with real-world scenarios and provide the tools to succeed in life.
One would have to ask if there have been measured undertaken to ban a term as simple as ‘freshman,’ how long till historians are pressured into banning the term ‘human’ because of the 'man' reference in it?