Inclusive Terminology

Cal Poly’s Office of University Diversity and Inclusion aims to be a resource to campus when it comes to best practices and terminology that facilitate an inclusive environment. Know that your words matter. Our experts often hear questions about new terminology on campus. We’ve defined a handful of terms here to help campus use them appropriately. If you have a question about a specific term, email OUDI at diversity@calpoly.edu.

Terminology and Definitions

Collective Impact is an approach premised on the belief that no single policy, department, organization or program can tackle or solve the increasingly complex social problems we face as a society. The approach calls for multiple organizations or entities from different sectors to abandon their own agenda in favor of a common agenda, shared measurement and alignment of effort. Learn about Cal Poly’s collective impact work.

Diversity is a community of people who are made up of different social identities. Social identities include, but are not limited to: age, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race/ethnicity, religion/spiritual practice, sexual orientation, and veteran status.

Inclusive Excellence: The term means that excellence and diversity are intertwined, and it’s a concept Cal Poly strives to achieve. You cannot have excellence without the talents, skills, innovation, and creativity that a diverse learning environment creates. Inclusive excellence in higher education requires the following:

  • Diverse student body, faculty and staff
  • Welcoming campus community
  • Curriculum and co-curriculum rooted in diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Intergroup exchanges

QTPOC: An acronym that stands forqueer trans people of color.

Gender pronouns: We frequently use pronouns to address others. However, the pronouns we choose are often based on assumptions that may be inaccurate. By fostering a protocol of asking everyone what their pronouns are, we can be accurate and not perpetuate gender binary stereotypes. For more information, visit myprounouns.org.