Where have all the freshmen gone?By Ted V. McAllister for FRONT PORCH REPUBLIC
Pepperdine University has chosen to replace “freshman” with “first year.” I presume that the inclusion of “man” in freshman offends some. But why? Do schools make such changes based on serious deliberation grounded in historical developments, etymological roots, reflections about consequences not anticipated by a presentist “common-sense”? Forgive the faux innocence of my question, but I’m struck by how thoroughly universities have largely given up any sense that they should serve as repositories of tradition, of heritage, of inherited wisdom, replaced by an embarrassingly old-fashioned and moralizing (and hence not morally serious) crusade to be institutions of social transformation.