Michigan State University released a list of “offensive” words on its website.
The Inclusive Guide advises against calling peers “rookies” or “upperclassmen” and instead suggests using “first-year” and “advanced” to avoid male-centric and Western father-son language. The guide also suggests avoiding the word “female.” Similarly, ableist language should be avoided, and terms such as “crazy,” “nuts,” or “loony” should be replaced with “silly,” “absurd,” and “outrageous.”
According to Michigan State University, the institution “values communications practices that support belonging for all Spartans. In alignment with strategic efforts around diversity, equity and inclusion, the Inclusive Guide provides best practices for communications in gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, global identity and disability.”
The language guide also discourages even passing allusions to American Christian events like Easter and Christmas.
While institutions of higher learning should encourage free speech, Michigan State University is not alone in this trend. Stanford University also recently faced backlash after releasing a language guide that deemed the words “American,” “immigrant,” and “walk-in hours” offensive.