Trinity College opts for gender neutral ‘fresh’ not ‘freshman’

Trinity College opts gender neutral fresh
Photo: Eamonn Farrell/

Trinity College opts for gender neutral ‘fresh’ not ‘freshman’

Trinity College Dublin has changed the term used to describe undergraduates from freshmen to “fresh” in a move to gender-neutral language across the university.

A college spokesman said that the terms were chosen because they were already in use, having been a colloquial way to refer to undergraduates. Trinity said that the change was a “concrete expression” of the university’s commitment to gender equality, as set out in its strategic plan 2014-2019 and its diversity and inclusion strategy.

The change follows an Irish government announcement recently that it was reviewing existing laws and giving thought to enshrining a legal right for people in Ireland to determine their own gender – officially recognising people who identified as neither man nor woman and used the pronouns “they/them/their” instead of “she/her/hers” or “he/him/his”.

Aoife Crawford, equality officer at Trinity, said: “As we call our heads of committees chair not chairman, it seems only fair to apply the same principles to the student body.”

Siobhán Garrigan, head of school for religions, peace studies and theology, said that the change ensured that female and transgender staff and students were equally respected by the language used in university business.

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