‘American’, ‘Freshman’: 12 Words That the University of New Hampshire Has Deemed ‘Problematic’

When students arrive on campus at the University of New Hampshire this fall, they’ll be welcomed with a “Bias-Free Language Guide” to help them in their conversations.

Since college campuses have become very concerned with “microaggressions” being committed on their campuses, UNH decided to help their students understand which words might offend others.

But, according to Campus Reform:

The university website encourages readers to understand that the guide “is not a means to censor but rather to create dialogues of inclusion where all of us feel comfortable and welcomed.”

A few of the words which are deemed “problematic” are:

  • American
  • Mothering
  • Fathering
  • Illegal Alien
  • Caucasian
  • Homeless
  • Poor person
  • Obese
  • Overweight
  • Healthy
  • Orientals
  • Freshmen

For each category, the University makes recommendations that, for the most part, are much longer and contain multiple words.

Instead of “poor person,” for instance, the student should say “person who lacks advantages that others have.” Mothering and fathering are frowned upon because they advance gender stereotypes. Instead, one should use “parenting” or “nurturing” because they describe the behavior.

“European-American individuals” is the favored term over “Caucasian.” And instead of “healthy,” use “non-disabled individual.”

The purpose is to:

“…not stereotype or demean people based on personal characteristics.”

Students will be able to access the university’s 4,750-word web page to easily understand which words they are supposed to use when conversing with their peers.

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