Policy questioned by SA

By Paul Kirk

The controversially proposed “inclusive language” policy seems to be coming to a boiling point as it was questioned in the Student Association senate meeting Sunday night.

SA Senate Speaker Mike Starzec said the resolution was proposed to state concerns about the proposal of such a policy in NIU’s English Department. Senate members feared students might be graded down if they use traditional language in their writing.

Starzec said members of the Freshman English Committee have not given guarantees they will not grade students down for using traditional language such as the pronoun he to indicate a generality, or the noun mankind to indicate humanity.

Ellen Franklin, assistant director of Freshman English, came to the senate meeting in place of the director, Robert Self.

She said it is her personal belief that some members of the senate and The Northern Star blew the issue out of proportion.

“It’s unfortunate that this issue has become so distorted,” Franklin said.

Preston Came, SA president, said he believes Franklin regurgitated the same explanations that have been given several times over by the English department.

Came said he believes the issue is political despite denial by Self and Franklin that the issue is not connected. Came said this language was designed as part of the political correct movement.

“It has never been our idea that these guidelines would, if disobeyed, be penalized punitively with grades,” Franklin said.

“Why don’t they come out and say you have nothing to fear if they don’t intend to grade down,” he said.