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Inclusive language

  • All text must be inclusive with no preference given to gender, national origin, sexual orientation, ethnic background, age, religious belief, marital status, veteran status, disability, or any other category identified by affirmative action legislation.

  • Alum and alumni are the preferred singular and plural forms of graduate. Gendered phrases of alumna, alumnae, and alumnus are allowed when part of formal names of awards, groups, titles, etc., or if preferred by the individual(s) described: Outstanding Alumna Award

  • Gendered terms emerita, emeritae, emeritus, and emeriti are used only in formal titles.

  • Avoid redundancies and sexist language, including male-based and exclusionary words such as chairman. Remove gender bias from language instead: chair or chairperson

  • Avoid mention of a disability unless it is relevant to the text.

  • Do not refer to individuals as “handicapped,” but rather “individuals with a disability.”

  • Use “accessible to individuals with disabilities,” instead of “handicapped accessible.”

  • Target audiences may not be familiar with the University environment. Text should therefore be written with the expectation that the reader is not a member of the academic community.

  • Jargon, slang, and unnecessary technical verbiage should be avoided.