Cardiff Metropolitan University has warned its students and staff to stop using gendered words as part of an effort to make “all students and staff feel valued”.
As part of the university’s new ‘Code of Practice on Inclusive Language,’ students and staff who use gendered terms such as ‘sportsmanship,’ ‘mankind,’ or even ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’ could face disciplinary action for failing to adhere to the university’s Bullying and Harassment Policy, a report from The Tab has revealed.
“Should individuals consider that in the course of interaction with students or staff that this Code has not been adhered to and that further action is required, there are two courses of action. For students please refer to the Bullying and Harassment Policy. For staff members the Disciplinary procedure applies, as it does in the event of students talking inappropriately to staff,” the university’s policy states.
Generalizations such as “old people” and “the blind” are also described as demeaning, with the university encouraging people to use terms such as “the elderly” and “visually impaired.”
In a statement released to the media, the university claimed they are “committed unreservedly to the principle of academic freedom within the law. [We are] also committed to providing an environment where everyone is valued and treated with dignity and respect. These two commitments are cornerstones of academic life at the University.”
It continued: “The Code of Practice on Using Inclusive Language sets out a broad approach to promoting fairness and equality through raising awareness about the effects of potentially discriminatory vocabulary. In particular, it includes some suggestions to support gender equality; these are consistent with other guidance (e.g., British Sociological Association’s information on Equality and Diversity).”
A recent analysis of free speech at British universities by Spiked found that “63.5 per cent of universities now actively censor speech”, while “30.5 per cent stifle speech through excessive regulation.”
As part of that analysis, the Cardiff Metropolitan University Student’s Union was given a red traffic light for its approach to free speech, having “collectively created a hostile environment for free speech” through a series of policies including no-platforming policy and “urging students to police their speech and avoid non-inclusive words.”