Opinion: ‘Freshman’ not a sexist term

Lindsay Bookout

Anne Buie

Lindsay BookoutUNC-Chapel Hill has recently decided to stop using the term “freshman” in favor of the term “first-year,” according to The Huffington Post.

UNC-Chapel Hill officials say this change was made to avoid sexism, since “first-year” is a more “gender-inclusive” term.

Well I, as a woman, do not feel that “freshman” is sexist. It is simply a word. It is what you are when you are in your first year of high school or college.

I understand that UNC-Chapel Hill is trying to be more politically correct and show that they are accepting of everyone. What I do not understand is why changing this particular term is a top priority.

UNC-Chapel Hill is “committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community,” the college said in a statement to Campus Reform, according to The Huffington Post.

It is hard not to find this laughable, given the fact that the university rejected the idea of a gender-neutral housing RLC, according to The Daily Tarheel.

You cannot pick and choose certain times to be politically correct, just as you cannot pick and choose which groups you want to feel accepted.

And honestly, “first-year” is just ridiculous. It makes freshmen UNC-Chapel Hill students sound like they’re starting their first year at Hogwarts.

It’s ridiculously pretentious as well. “Oh, your school still has freshmen? How politically incorrect of it. We have first-years here.”

It does not go along with the other years, either. Why not just change sophomore to “second-year,” junior to “third-year,” and so on? That way UNC-Chapel Hill won’t offend super seniors either, as they’ll instead be called “fifth-years.”

Any woman who goes to UNC-Chapel Hill for her first year of college has already gone through her freshman year of high school. I just do not understand why it matters so much.

Another question I have concerning the whole issue is why not just change freshman to “freshpeople” for plural and “freshwoman” and “freshman” for singular?

I’ll tell you why: because it sounds ridiculous.

There are far too many other issues concerning inclusion and political correctness that need to be addressed before the word “freshman,” which hardly offends anyone at all.

Bookout, a sophomore English and French major from Charlotte, is a news reporter.