Glossary of Terms

The following terms and definitions are adapted from Rankin & Associates, 2017. PDF Version can be found here, USF_Term_Glossary.

Someone who practices discrimination or prejudice against an individual or group with a disability.

A person appearing and/or identifying as neither man nor woman, presenting a gender either mixed or neutral.

Someone who practices discrimination or prejudice against an individual or group on the basis of their age.

A person having origin in any of the original tribes of North America who maintains cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community recognition.

The biological sex assigned (named) as that of an individual baby at birth.

A person who may be attracted, romantically and/or sexually, to people of more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.

An irrational dislike or fear of bisexual people.

Being subjected to unwanted offensive and malicious behavior that undermines, patronizes, intimidates, or demeans.

Someone who identifies within their assigned gender.

Someone who practices discrimination or prejudice against an individual or group based on social or economic class.

Current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of employees and students concerning the access for, inclusion of, and level of respect for individual and group needs, abilities, and potential.

“Assigned” name, no longer being used by person.

A physical or mental impairment that limits one or more major life activities.

Discrimination refers to the treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person based on the group, class, or category to which that person belongs rather than on individual merit. Discrimination can be the effect of some law or established practice that confers privilege or liability based on of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender, gender expression, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related or genetic characteristics), genetic information (including family medical history), ancestry, marital status, age, sexual identity, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services.

Someone who practices discrimination or prejudice against an individual or group’s culture based solely by the values and standards of one's own culture. Ethnocentric individuals judge other groups relative to their own ethnic group or culture, especially with concern for language, behavior, customs, and religion.

Experiential learning refers to a pedagogical philosophy and methodology concerned with learning activities outside of the traditional classroom environment, with objectives which are planned and articulated prior to the experience (e.g., internship, service learning, cooperative education, field experience, practicum, cross-cultural experiences, apprenticeships, etc.).

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a labor law requiring employers with 50 or more employees to provide certain employees with job-protected unpaid leave due situations such as the following: a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform his or her job; caring for a sick family member; caring for a new child (including birth, adoption or foster care). For more information:


A person’s inner sense of being man, woman, both, or neither. Gender identity may or may not be expressed outwardly and may or may not correspond to one’s physical characteristics.

The manner in which a person outwardly represents gender, regardless of the physical characteristics that might typically define the individual as male or female.

Unwelcomed behavior that demeans, threatens or offends another person or group of people and results in a hostile environment for the targeted person/group.

Someone who practices discrimination or prejudice against an individual or group based on a sexual orientation that is not heterosexual.

An irrational dislike or fear of homosexual people.

Any one of a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male.

Referring to someone in gendered terms not matching their identity.

The core mission of the university is to promote learning in the Jesuit Catholic tradition. The university offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional students the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as persons and professionals, and the values and sensitivity necessary to be men and women for others. The university will distinguish itself as a diverse, socially responsible learning community of high quality scholarship and academic rigor sustained by a faith that does justice. The university will draw from the cultural, intellectual, and economic resources of the San Francisco Bay Area and its location on the Pacific Rim to enrich and strengthen its educational programs.

Pronouns sets that are not she, he, or they. (i.e. xe/xir, ze/zir, ne/nir).

Not exclusively male or female identifying.

People for whom English is not their first language.

People who self-identify as other than White.

Term that refers to one’s appearance.

Fluid in sexual identity and is attracted to others regardless of their sexual identity or gender.

The status one holds by virtue of their role/status within the institution (e.g., staff, full-time faculty, part-time faculty, administrator, etc.)

A term used by some individuals to challenge static notions of gender and sexuality. The term is used to explain a complex set of sexual behaviors and desires. “Queer” is also used as an umbrella term to refer to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

A socially constructed category about a group of people based on generalized physical features such as skin color, hair type, shape of eyes, physique, etc.

A personal characteristic based on the sex of people one tends to be emotionally, physically and sexually attracted to; this is inclusive of, but not limited to, lesbians, gay men, bisexual people, heterosexual people, and those who identify as queer.

The status one holds in society based on one’s level of income, wealth, education, and familial background.

An umbrella term referring to those whose gender identity or gender expression is different from that associated with their sex assigned at birth.

An irrational dislike or fear of transgender, transsexual and other gender non-traditional individuals because of their perceived gender identity or gender expression.

Unwelcome touching of a sexual nature that includes fondling (any intentional sexual touching, however slight, with any object without consent); rape; sexual assault (including oral, anal or vaginal penetration with a body part or an object); use of alcohol or other drugs to incapacitate; gang rape; and sexual harassment involving physical contact.

Irrational fear or hostility toward people from other countries.