An elite university is seemingly walking back a rigid campus language code two days after it was rolled out to widespread criticism.
Stanford University appeared to have removed mention of its “Elimination of Harmful Language Initiative” from its website as of Monday, according to The Washington Free Beacon. The initiative was a product of the university’s IT department.
The webpage for the initiative went live over the weekend, the Free Beacon reported. The proposed language policies were the subject of a critical Op-Ed published by The Wall Street Journal on Monday.
The university resource outlined a laundry list of “harmful” words and phrases that would be removed from Stanford websites and suggested politically correct alternatives to the objectionable language.
Words like “freshman” and “mankind” were singled out for being “gender-based.” Terms such as “blind study” and “tone-deaf” were criticized as “ableist.”
Even the word “American” was designated as “harmful” on the grounds that it supposedly ascribes supremacy to the U.S. over other countries in the Americas.
A professor at Stanford’s medical school publicly rejected the proposed elimination of the word “American.”
“I remember how proud I was when I became a naturalized American citizen,” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya tweeted. “I’m still proud to be an American, and I don’t care that [Stanford] disapproves of my using the term.”
— Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) December 20, 2022
Steve Gallagher, Stanford’s chief information officer, released a statement on Tuesday distancing the school from the censorious initiative.
“Over the last couple of days, there has been much discussion of a website that provides advice for the IT community at Stanford about word choices in Stanford websites and code,” Gallagher said.
“First and importantly, the website does not represent university policy. It also does not represent mandates or requirements,” he clarified.
Gallagher said the word “American” would not be banned by the university.
“We have particularly heard concerns about the guide’s treatment of the term ‘American,'” Gallagher said. “We understand and appreciate those concerns. To be very clear, not only is the use of the term ‘American’ not banned at Stanford, it is absolutely welcomed.”
Gallagher indicated that the speech code was undergoing “continual review,” suggesting that it could return in an altered capacity.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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