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Zurich: ZHAW sends students an 8-page manual on gender-sensitive language & More Breaking News

 

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ZurichZHAW sends students an 8-page manual on gender-appropriate language

The rector of the ZHAW has sent out a guide to all students to provide orientation and help.

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At the beginning of the week, ZHAW students received guidelines for inclusive language use. (icon picture)

Tamedia/Madeleine Schoder

The guidelines give examples of gender-neutral and inclusive personal designations.

The guidelines give examples of gender-neutral and inclusive personal designations.

ZHAW

For the students, the guidelines should only serve as an orientation and they may not be rated better or worse on the basis of this. (icon picture)

For the students, the guidelines should only serve as an orientation and they may not be rated better or worse on the basis of this. (icon picture)

20 minutes/Marco Zangger

  • The rector of the ZHAW sent all students an e-mail with an eight-page guide to “inclusive language use”.

  • It provides examples of discriminatory language and what is recommended instead.

  • According to the Diversity Office, the guidelines arose from a need on the part of the students.

All students at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) received a letter from the Rector at the beginning of the week. In the email, which is available for 20 minutes, they found an eight-page guide to “inclusive language use”. All sorts of examples are shown in the document: discriminatory language is provided with a sad smiley and inclusive language with a laughing smiley.

In this sense, «people without disabilities» is recommended instead of «normal people». “Critics” become “critical voices” and ultimately “legal fees” should not be paid, but “legal representation costs”.

According to the rector, the language guide is intended to provide support to all employees and students. “It shows how diversity-oriented and inclusive language can succeed as part of our university culture.” «Inside Paradenplatz” reported about it first.

Guidelines developed from a need of the students

The guidelines should provide orientation and serve as an aid, says Svenja Witzig, Head of the Diversity Office. “But we don’t want to impose inclusive language on the students in any way.” On the contrary, the language guide was developed from a need of the students and members of the ZHAW in a broadly supported one-year development process. “Language is a central tool at a university. That’s why people are particularly interested in how to deal with it.” Promoting an inclusive culture is important and the university relies on diversity to remain innovative, says Witzig.

“The university relies on diversity to remain innovative.”

Svenja Witzig, Head of the Diversity Office

Furthermore, the guidelines have no influence on the evaluation of student performance. The principle of freedom of teaching applies, explains Witzig. This means that the lecturers specify the assessment criteria. “But if the lecturers don’t make any specifications, the students can use the guidelines as a guide and shouldn’t be rated better or worse.”

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The Article Is In German🡽

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