Our View: Stylebook changes


by The Simpsonian Editorial Board

As The Simpsonian staff, we make changes to our internal style guide as

time passes, similar to the say the Associated Press stylebook comes out with a new edition annually. These topics surface as issues become more prevalent in our society.  

We are a changing world, and the terms we will use shift over time.

The Simpsonian staff will begin referring to freshman students as “first-year” students this week. This shift comes from those who work with these students, such as Residence Life, and SC 101 staff.

For many people, the word “freshman” carries a gendered connotation which does not accurately reflect the range of gender identities represented on campus. To avoid this gendered connotation, the college has adopted the term “first-year” to refer to the youngest class of students. Therefore, in order to match the rest of the Simpson culture, we are shifting to fit the current standards. We want to be inclusive to everyone, and we believe this is a step in that direction.

Another change we made to The Simpsonian stylebook is how we refer to people’s gender identity. Staff reporters and editors will begin asking the individuals they interview for their personal gender pronouns.

This is already a detail students and faculty may choose to include on their email signatures, and they also may begin class by addressing this question.

We have a variety of students in our school, and it is important for us to respect all individuals and their decision to identify with the pronouns they choose.

We should not rely on a name or physical appearance in order to refer to an individual in an article, and an additional question will allow staff reporters to remain respectful.

If you are interviewed for a story, you will be asked which pronouns you identify with. This serves as an educational moment for both our staff and for our Simpson community.

These are the changes the Simpsonian staff deems as important to revisit this year. Let us know if there is anything else we should take a look at this semester. Our staff and email inbox are always open for comments and suggestions.