Inclusive Language and Communications

21.0 General41993-03-01

The Association of College Unions International, founded in 1914, is one of the oldest in higher education organizations. Its purpose is to advance the educational mission of member institutions by assisting college union and student activities professionals and student leaders in joining together to study, and improve their organization, services, programs, facilities, and personnel.


In keeping with this purpose and to promote an appreciation for diversity, all written, oral and visual communications, e.g., presentations, audiotapes, videotapes, publications, written correspondence, documents and reports, graphic illustrations and photography, shall not include stereotypical images, terms, or expressions. Preparation of communications shall avoid gender-specific terms (e.g., not mankind but humanity) or titles (e.g., not chairman but chairperson). Characterizing an individual by age, ethnicity, gender, national origin, physical ability, race, religion, sexual orientation shall be avoided unless specifically relevant to the topic. Use of visual images shall represent a balance of diversity and reflect individuals in a non-stereotypical manner.


The Association is committed to creating and maintaining a sense of community and inclusion for all its constituents, and raising awareness regarding issues of oppression. ACUI values the diversity, including that of gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age, and differing ability, reflected in its institutional and individual membership. Accordingly, all who are involved in the Association as volunteers, employees or guests of the organization, shall use modes of communication reflective of this commitment.  

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Updated July 1, 2013