May 6, 2023

College Program Bans Use of Word 'Field' for 'Negative Associations' with Race

A college in Massachusetts is banning the use of the word "Field" in one of its programs to be more "anti-racist," according to a university email.

The Smith College School of Social Work noted its Office of Field Education will now be called the Office of Practicum Learning.

"We are writing to let you know that, going forward, the Office of Field Education will be renamed the Office of Practicum Learning, in keeping with our values and our commitment to anti-racist work," the email stated.

"The college's Toward Racial Justice Plan asks us to consider that Smith was not originally designed for the diverse students, staff and faculty that we have now, and calls us to reflect on our past and present to build a more just and inclusive future," it added.

"SSW's Core Principles encourage us to center the lived and historical experiences of Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. We recognize that language is powerful and that phrases such as 'going into the field' or 'field work' may hold negative associations," it stated, according to the Democratic Accent.

"We recognize that adopting a new name for our office can be challenging, and we expect this will take some time, but we hope that you'll join us in this effort to be intentional and inclusive and to stay open and actively engage with change. To assist in the transition, we've created a language key you can reference for information," the email added.

The change comes after the University of Southern California's School of Social Work recently stated it would stop using the word "field" for similar reasons.

The changed wording reflects a trend at some universities that is seeking to remove any language that could even potentially be connected with racism or slavery.

While controversies have long existed over past wording or building names, the latest efforts are a bit much for many people.

The focus on renaming an entire school because the word "field" might offend someone along the way seems to be an example of DEI goes overboard in today's college education landscape.

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