Trinity's Latest Advancement To Become More Gender Inclusive

Twitter Is Torn About The Gender-Neutral Replacement Term For 'Freshman' in Trinity

Trinity College on a sunny day, the rainbow over the main building

Trinity College Dublin announced yesterday a move to make the terms used for first and second-year students more gender neutral, as reported in the University Times. Instead of Junior and Senior Freshman, they will now be officially known as Junior Fresh and Senior Fresh.

An email from the college’s Provost was sent to all undergraduate and postgraduate students outlining the change:

Screenshot of email sent to all studenst from Trinity college

It has been 113 years since the first female studied at Trinity College. The change to Trinity’s idiosyncratic naming system comes after a proposal by the SU Equality Committee to change all documentation referring to First and Second years was approved by the Trinity College Board.

Reaction to this has been very mixed and many have taken to Twitter to voice their opinion:

The issue most are debating is that they have gone with the ‘Fresh’ as opposed to the more widely used and known term, ‘Fresher’.

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Academia has come under fire in recent years for its gender imbalance when it comes to promoting male lecturers and professors over their female colleagues. To combat this, colleges like Trinity have been developing Strategic Plans to ensure females are no longer left behind.

Graph showing the latest figures from Trinity on theAcademic and Research Staff by Grade and Gender

To combat this organisation like the Equality Challenge Unit administers awards to colleges who are ‘a beacon for promoting gender equality’.

The Athena SWAN awards are made as part of a pilot project funded by the Higher Education Authority since 2015.

5 Irish colleges, including Trinity, have received bronze awards which will be a requirement by 2020 in order to be eligible for research funding for Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and the Health Research Board.

By the end of 2023, all colleges will be required to hold Silver awards to be eligible for research funding.

We commend Trinity for taking steps to become not just gender-neutral but more importantly, gender inclusive. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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