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UC Boulder Labels ‘Illegal Alien’ a ‘Problematic Phrase’

Immigrants' rights supporters march down Jackson Boulevard on Feb. 16, 2017, in Chicago as people across the U.S. hold a Day Without Immigrants protest to show the impact immigrants have on the economy. PHOTO: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune

By Grace Gottschling | 12 September 2018

  • The University of Colorado-Boulder added “inclusive” terms to its library catalog to expand beyond the “problematic” term “illegal aliens”
  • The “more ethical” search terms include “noncitizen” and “undocumented immigrants.”

CAMPUS REFORM — The University of Colorado-Boulder has removed the term  “illegal aliens” from its library catalog in favor of “more ethical subject headings” to foster an “inclusive atmosphere.”

Library subject headings are used to help researchers find relevant material by using certain keywords. Now, at UC Boulder, student researchers can use terms like “noncitizen,” and “undocumented immigrants” to find documents that previously were only identified by the legal designation of “illegal alien.”

The library, which changed 5,367 records, has opted for “more ethical subject headings” rather than the “problematic” phrase “in an effort to foster diversity and inclusion,” according to its website.

The change is part of the university’s Libraries’ Strategic Plan for 2016-2020 which seeks to “provide services, spaces, and collections that foster belonging, curiosity, openness, discovery, creativity, and reflection,” according to the strategic plan. […]

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