We’ve One-Upped The Daily Tar Heel
By: Associate Editor Alec Dent
In the interest of inclusivity, The Carolina Review will from now on use completely neutral terminology in its stories.
Every year, the leaders of The Carolina Review have the power to make as many changes in The Carolina Review style guide as we see fit. We’re proud to announce that at this year’s brainstorming session our staffers came up with a number of new ways we can alter our writing style to be more inclusive. These changes will end several practices that have been the norm here since before we started as staffers.
The first idea pitched was using gender neutral terminology. This isn’t the first year the idea has been tossed around. As recently as 2010 a whopping 30 students marched on the offices of our fellow Carolina publication The Daily Tar Heel. These students bore a petition to replace the term “freshman” with “first year “in the campus paper. The petition had 430 signatures, or roughly 2% of the undergraduate body. Just this year The Daily Tar Heel finally opted to make the change, fully adopting gender-neutral terminology. We have joined them in this policy and salute them for their efforts, though we are disappointed to report that they stopped short of the truly neutral and inclusive terminology we are now implementing.
Just take a look at their paper’s name. The Daily Tar Heel. While there is some debate about the roots of our school’s nickname, it is widely believed it originated during the Civil War. North Carolinian soldiers admonished their fellow Confederate soldiers who ran from the battlefield and threatened to put tar on their heels to keep them in place. General Robert E. Lee is reported to have said “God bless the Tar Heel boys!” and the moniker was born. The term “Tar Heel” was created to refer to Confederate soldiers fighting to keep slavery in the south alive. Thus, by keeping the name on their masthead The Daily Tar Heel, they are promoting racism at Carolina.
After much discussion it was decided that in order to be inclusive of all races at the university The Carolina Review will no longer use the phrase “Tar Heel,” replacing it instead with the less offensive “Carolina Foot,” and likewise The Daily Carolina Foot (we will refer to the opinion page specifically as The Daily Carolina Foot in Mouth). We encourage the university to follow suit in the change. “I’m a Carolina Foot born and bred” may sound a little awkward, but that’s a small price to pay for diversity.
After coining the term “Carolina Foot,” we realized there was still room for inclusivity in our sports. Our beloved mascot the ram may seem innocent at first, but is actually a fluffy little example of cultural appropriation. The ram’s official name, Rameses, was taken from several ancient Egyptian pharaohs. To make matters worse, the ram has always been portrayed as male. In order to be culturally aware and gender inclusive, we attempted to come up with a name that simultaneously transcends culture and gender. After failing to find a name that wouldn’t leave out anyone we decided to refer to our mascot with the generic phrase “the culturally and sexually ambiguous ram” to ensure all our bases were covered. That’ll be fun to scream at football games!
We also suggest the university make it known that the ram doesn’t identify as a specific gender, and announce that it is “tramgendered” to be inclusive of our LGBT community on campus.
Another staffer pointed out that name “Chapel Hill” itself is blatantly offensive. A chapel is specifically a Christian place of worship. In order to acknowledge the position of privilege that Christianity occupies we will no longer refer to the town or university as “Chapel Hill.” Carolina Review staffers discussed a replacement that would be inclusive to all religions, ultimately settling on “Chapel/Synagogue/Mosque/Nonsectarian Place of Worship Hill”. We hope this new name will help make people of all faiths feel more welcome here and are currently petitioning the university and town to make the change official.
We hope the university and our fellow students listen and follow our lead. We can all work together to make the University of North Carolina at Chapel/Synagogue/Mosque/Nonsectarian Place of Worship Hill a more inclusive place for Carolina Feet of all backgrounds.