Commitment to Inclusive Language

Goshen College, as a Christian institution, expresses vital concern for the welfare of all members of our community. As an equal opportunity educational institution, we are committed to both academic freedom and the fair treatment of all individuals.

Because we realize that language is a basic means of communicating attitudes as well as information, we commit ourselves to the use of language which articulates our regard for one another, spiritually as well as intellectually. We have a moral obligation not only to educate our students but to help them integrate the institutional core values through their attitudes and behaviors. We commit ourselves to a more inclusive campus where all members feel respected, accepted and connected to one another. Accordingly, all official Goshen College communications will adhere to ever evolving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) best practices and be free of racist, sexist, ageist, transphobic, heterosexist, ableist, classist and other discriminatory language.

Based on our DEI commitments, we agree to the following guidelines for language usage:

  1. Practice inclusive language that doesn’t make assumptions about gender (ex. using “guests,” “students” and “attendees” instead of “men and women”).
  2. Avoid language which stereotypes an occupation or characteristic according to gender, age, race or class.

We adopt these guidelines for use in the classroom, in class and office materials, chapels/convocations, and other gatherings. We understand this commitment to using language inclusively and seek student perspectives and experiences related to our language.

We welcome dialogue with students about using appropriate language as one means of countering and correcting sexist, racist and ageist attitudes and behavior. We encourage students to consider similar guidelines in their own use of language.

Reviewed October, 2014; updated October 2, 2023