The Language of The Common Application
The Common Application, which ushered in changes to its language in certain prompts last year in the hope of better serving transgender applicants, will be ushering in more changes this coming year along these same lines. Last year, as our readers may recall, the language was changed so applicants could share their preferred first name, select multiple pronouns, and a question about the applicant’s sex was changed to legal sex. Next year, applicants will be able to add “Mx.” and “Other” options for the prefixes for recommenders. They’ll also be able to insert their legal first name and another legal sex (in addition to male or female).
As Scott Jaschik reports for Inside Higher Ed in a piece entitled “Common App Again Changes Its Language,” “‘These shifts represent the next step in an ongoing effort to create an equitable, just and inclusive college admission process for all students—no matter how they identify,’ said Jenny Rickard, president and chief executive officer of the Common App. ‘In order to fulfill the promise of higher education as a pathway to economic opportunity, it’s incumbent upon colleges, universities and organizations at every step of the admission experience to remove barriers that may prevent students from pursuing the next step in their educational journey.’ The change also was praised by Campus Pride, a group that focuses on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students in higher education.”
Every time Ivy Coach posts a blog in support of colleges and universities, athletes (notably University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas), or organizations like The Common Application that support transgender rights, a vocal minority likes to chime in to express their righteous indignation about our support. Now, we believe in free expression, but we will not now nor ever tolerate transphobia. As such, know that such comments will never silence our support for these brave young people who simply wish to be who they are. As Dr. Seuss once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.” We echo his words.
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