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College Publishes New Inclusive Language Guide

Students enjoy the rainbow hues of a Geneseo sunset. (SUNY Geneseo photo/Keith Walters '11)

SUNY Geneseo’s recent publication of its Inclusive Language Guide has moved the College—linguistically, at least—beyond gender.

The college’s existing language guidelines for gender-neutral writing have been updated and expanded to include additional sections for writing about Abilities and Disabilities and Ethnic and Racial Designations as well as Gender, Sex, and Sexuality. Grounded in academically regarded sources such as The Chicago Manual of Style, the new Inclusive Language Guide also reflects the style guidelines of peer universities and best practices for inclusive writing.

“This guide reflects the college’s commitment to cultivating a community that respects difference and promotes a sense of inclusion and belonging,” says robbie routenberg ’05, chief diversity officer. “This commitment extends to the language we use in our professional communication. The words we use matter, and this guide is a step toward promoting greater intentionality and accuracy of language.”

In addition to usage guidelines, the updated language guide includes glossaries—with the understanding that vocabulary changes frequently. The Office of College Communications plans to review the guide regularly in conjunction with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to ensure that the college’s print and online publications reflect current English language usage and terminology.

The Inclusive Language Guide supplements the college’s Language Usage Guide, a general writing reference designed to ensure consistency, clarity, and accuracy for the college’s publications by providing tips on common grammatical errors and Geneseo-specific terms.


Robyn Rime
Senior Writer & Editor
(585) 245-5529