A proposal by the Equality Committee at Trinity College in Dublin has been approved which will protect students from ever having to hear the gender-specific term “freshman” ever again.
“As we approach 100 years of women’s suffrage in Ireland in 2018, it is timely to reflect on changes in our student body since ‘Freshman’ first came into use, and to ensure those changes are reflected in the name we give them,” an e-mailed statement regarding the change read. “[The change] is a concrete expression of the university's commitment to gender equality [and] the commitment of everyone will be crucial to ensuring its implementation.”
The school’s vice-provost said though the change is small, it’s an “important” one that will phase in slowly over the next three years and is both “cost neutral” and will occur “with minimal disruption.”
Some students are excited about the change and feel it is “very sensible” and “inclusive,” especially since gender-neutral bathrooms are becoming the norm on campus.
“Trinity College can be an intimidating place for new students so anything that can be done to reduce that is important and welcome,” Student Union President Kevin Keane said.
So, what will freshmen be called from now on?
Not freshlings, freshfolk, or even freshpersons.
Well, at least they already have a theme song: