by Sam Hieb
Elon University has officially dropped the term freshman, replacing it with “first year student.”
Maybe –just maybe –I can understand that ‘freshman’ is an outdated term, as Elon’s ‘director of inclusivity’ Leigh-Anne Royster explains. But she couldn’t just stop there:
Royster stated the word “freshman” naturally insinuates a hierarchy among students on campus. She said she believes that students are viewed as younger and less experienced when referred to as “freshman.” With that, Royster stated “freshman” may contribute to sexual violence on campus because it labels the youngest students, causing them to be targets.
“The term has often been felt to refer to the vulnerableness of young women in college for the first time,” Royster said. “Given the rates of sexual violence perpetrated against women on college campuses, it is useful to examine any use of a term that suggests that a group of people just entering college might be targets for such violence in any way.”
Lots of money —parents’ money, that is —passing through Elon. And this is how they utilize it.