Trinity College Dublin, one of Ireland's most prestigious universities, has announced that it will phase out use of the term "Freshman" in favor of the more gender-neutral "Fresh."
Currently, first and second year students at Trinity are referred to as "junior freshmen" and "senior freshmen."
The school's Vice-Provost Chris Morash and Student Union President Kevin Keane shared the news in a mass email sent on Tuesday. They noted that the change stems from a proposal from Trinity's Equality Committee that "the title given to first and second year undergraduates students be changed from 'Freshman' to the gender-neutral term 'Fresh.'"
"This small but important change will ensure that all Trinity students are equally included by the language used to describe them, be they male, female, or of another gender identity," they stated.
In accordance with normal review processes, all university materials will be updated reflecting the change in terminology within the next three years as they undergo their regular revisions.
Morash and Keane described the move as "a concrete expression of the university's commitment to gender equality," and described it as a fitting moment in history for the change:
"As we approach 100 years of women’s suffrage in Ireland in 2018, it is timely to reflect on changes in our student body since “Freshman” first came into use, and to ensure those changes are reflected in the name we give them," the announcement concluded.
Trinity, which has a student population of approximately 16,000, introduced gender-neutral bathrooms to its Arts Block last year.
The Irish university is not the first college to do away with the term "freshman" - in the US, Yale University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have already followed a similar course.
Trinity's announcement caught the attention of American Alex Jones' conservative conspiracy network Infowars:
Meanwhile, in Ireland some questioned whether the term "Freshman" was ever really in use:
Some folks were not on board with the news:
While others said it was a fair move if it made students more comfortable:
Everyone freaking out about the trinity freshman thing like Jesus why the fuck do you care so much especially if it makes people feel better, it actually has nothing to do with you— aisling (@aislingsophia) November 28, 2017