Be the most informed person in the room with Newsy's free e-newsletter

View our privacy policy: http://www.newsy.com/privacy/
University of Michigan

These Words Are Offensive, Says University Of Michigan

The University of Michigan is spending $16,000 on its Inclusive Language Campaign meant to raise awareness about "the power of words."

By Christine Slusser | February 10, 2015

I'm rubber, you're glue; whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you. Ah, memories of the playground. 

But the University of Michigan hopes its students will stop saying certain words and phrases that could be considered offensive.

"Such as: Illegal alien, ghetto and gypped," a Fox News anchor said.

Article Continues Below

Several derogatory words referring to a person's race or religion are on the list. Certain phrases are also discouraged, like "that test raped me."

It has launched a $16,000 Inclusive Language Campaign, or ILC. 

"The ILC raises awareness about the power of words, why certain language can be hurtful to others, and how to be more inclusive in how we speak and act as members of the Michigan campus community," according to a statement on the university website.

The College Fix chatted with a university spokesperson who said the program isn't regulatory but educational. 

A pretty obvious point, since America has that little "freedom of speech" amendment in the Constitution. Regardless, it seems to be an important move for the university's image.

One example of some negative press: In October 2013, the university's chapter of the Theta Xi fraternity made headlines for a planned, then canceled, "ratchet"-themed party. 

Note that ratchet is likely also looked down upon. The College Fix says students frequently hand out posters, some asking: "If you knew that I grew up in poverty, would you still call things 'ghetto' and 'ratchet'?"

It's not clear how the university financed the $16,000 campaign, but we do know the university has raised tuition rates for the past two consecutive years.

The University of Maryland also started a similar program in 2012. 

Want to see more stories like this?
Like Newsy on Facebook for More Coverage