Tuesday 17 September 2019

Trinity's move to scrap title 'freshman' slammed as 'absolutely ridiculous'

Trinity College Dublin (Stock picture)
Trinity College Dublin (Stock picture)

Gordon Deegan

A move by Trinity College Dublin to scrap the title 'freshman' has been described by students as "absolutely ridiculous" and "an April Fool's joke".

It was called "an absolute embarrassment", "complete nonsense" and a "slap in the face for feminism" in emails released under the Freedom of Information Act.

In November last, TCD vice-provost Professor Chris Morash and president of the TCD Students' Union Kevin Keane sent out an email to the college population confirming the title is to be changed from 'freshman' to the gender-neutral 'fresh'.

However, it brought an angry response, including some students and academics focusing on replacing the noun 'freshman' with the verb 'fresh'.

Associate professor in physiology Dr Áine Kelly wrote within hours of the announcement being circulated: "I fear that this may make the college look ridiculous."

Fellow emeritus of history professor David Fitzpatrick wrote: "What a shame that the equality committee chose an adjective rather than a noun, thus embarrassing first and second year students of all genders."

A clarification email was sent out from Prof Morash and Mr Keane that 'fresh' is intended to be used as an adjective and that the noun 'fresher' can also be used to ensure grammatical accuracy.

Some emails did applaud the efforts towards gender neutrality.

Irish Independent

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