RENO, Nev. (June 25, 2016) — University of Missouri is now reportedly planning to add terms pertaining to Hinduism in its “inclusive terminology” guide for “learning about inclusive language”, say Hindu leaders who advocated the issue.
Noor Azizan-Gardner, assistant deputy chancellor for Diversity at University of Missouri, said in an email that “We have temporarily removed the inclusive terminology page from our website until we complete the revisions. In addition to conducting a complete review of the terms listed, my staff have reached out to our local Hindu temple (http://shanthimandir.missouri.org) for recommendations,” according to in an email to Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism in Reno, who received the email.
“Faith and Religion” section of this guide, when it was available on Mizzou website, defined some Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Atheist and Agnostic terms, but failed to mention any terms related to Hinduism.
Zed in a statement in Nevada Saturday, thanked the university for understanding the concerns of Hindu community, which earlier felt excluded, and making efforts to add Hinduism terms in the “inclusive terminology” guide. Zed initiated the issue with an email to U Missouri Interim Chancellor Dr. Hank Foley and Provost Dr. Garnett S. Stokes, urging them to issue an official apology and create an “honestly inclusive” “inclusive terminology” guide.
Zed said the university needed the complete diversity and inclusivity was necessary before the university could sincerely embark upon its “productive dialogue about diversity and inclusion” and launching an “inclusive terminology” guide. Hinduism is the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents (including about three million in United States and should not be missing from the guide, he said. A considerable number of Hindu students and staff at U Missouri would be directly affected, he said.
On the one hand Mizzou claimed: “Inclusive language furthers social and cultural diversity in a positive way”; while on the other hand it just ignored a considerable chunk of the population which it was trying to address. It simply cast doubt at the seriousness and sincerity of Mizzou regarding its claims of and commitment to “inclusivity,” Zed said.