Michigan State University has an "Inclusive Guide" that discourages students and staff from using words or phrases that could be offensive.
According to the school's website, the language guide provides "best practices for communication in gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, global identity and disability."
The guide aligns with the university's diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy and provides language recommendations for students and staff to "support belonging."
It advises Spartans to avoid "seemingly innocuous idioms or words" that could be perceived as "racist, sexist or ableist in nature, such as 'cake walk,' ‘peanut gallery,' ‘grandfather clause,' 'tipping point,' 'rule of thumb' or 'bonkers.'"
Students are asked to avoid "Indigenous stereotyping and colonial language," which includes words and phrases such as "frontier," "pioneer," "tribe," "low man on the totem pole," "bury the hatchet," "on the warpath," "shaman," "rain dance," "savage," "barbarian," "off the reservation," "spirit animal," "scalped," "peace pipe," "hold down the fort," "founder," and "conquer and divide."
The language guide states that "America" should not be used when "referring to the United States (refers to North American, Central American and South American)." In addition, it argued against using "American-centric or first-world language," including "foreigner," "alien," "illegal immigrant," and "illegals."
It suggested replacing the terms "obese," "obesity," and "overweight" with "higher weight" or "larger-bodied."
Additionally, words such as "extremist," "militant," "terrorist," "radical," "fundamentalist," "cult," "sect," "devout," and "pious" are "charged words and judgmental labels" when used in reference to religion.
"In winter and spring, avoid references to majority religious imagery and language, such as the word 'merry' or 'Christmas trees,' 'wreaths,' 'holly,' 'bells,' 'gifts,' 'reindeer,' 'bunnies,' 'eggs' and 'chicks,'" the guide stated. "Use terms like 'wishing you a wonderful winter/spring break' or 'best wishes for the new year.'"
A spokesperson for Michigan State University told Fox News Digital, "The university does not ban specific terms through the inclusive language guide. This guide provides recommendations, not requirements, for more inclusive communications at MSU. It also provides guidance on ways to be more inclusive with imagery use during holiday seasons in the winter and spring by encouraging individuals to consider how using imagery solely from one religion may contribute other religions feeling excluded or less than."
"Michigan State University acknowledges and supports the identities, histories and experiences of its diverse student and employee population. Inclusive communications are integral to providing a world-class learning, living and working environment where all are welcome," the spokesperson added.
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