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Language Matters 

May 14,2024 06:33 PM

By Marykatherine Woodson and Molly Schaller

Whether it is in casual conversation or official policy, our words are instrumental in creating inclusive communities.

Language is a fundamental part of who we are as humans and how we engage in the world around us. The words we choose convey information as well as emotion. They can inspire, or they can sting. And, as the culture and language evolve, they can carry meanings both literal and implied. All that said, words carry a lot of weight. As campus housing professionals dedicated to nurturing inclusive communities where all students and staff feel they belong, it is important for individuals and departments to consider how language is used in policies, practices, marketing, and communication and how it may affect others. While much of the current public discourse around higher education has focused on the larger issues of free speech or racial bias, there are untold instances where common, everyday communication could be improved. 


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