ncu-poster-8 ncu-poster-6

Via Heat St:

Last year, the University of Northern Colorado hung 680 #languagematters posters around campus, warning students against words and phrases deemed offensive. “Words are connected to a long and often forgotten history of oppression and people,” one poster said. “Language matters because, whether it is intentional or not, the impact of words can reinforce oppression and feelings of discomfort, fear and shame,” another said.

Katrina Rodriguez, dean of students and Title IX coordinator at UNC, says the posters, along with table tents and a banner, cost about $600 and were “created to provide a voice to student experiences and encourage reflection and dialogue about the impact of language on others.”

She said that equating them to censorship or an attack on free speech is “a flawed premise.”

“The intent is to educate to foster civility—not to take punitive action,” Rodriguez told Heat Street by email. “The process itself facilitates conversations between campus and community members to build understanding. It’s awareness about being mindful about how words can affect others and the conversations provide an opportunity for individuals to understand why particular language may be hurtful to someone else in our community of learners. We believe that fostering dialogue on a college campus so that multiple perspectives are explored and debated is the essence of free speech.”