School Apologizes for Using What Word?!


( – Despite worse things happening in America and around the world, the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) law school’s Environmental Law Society recently decided that the most important thing to do right now is to change the name of their scheduled “picnic” event to “Lunch by the Lake.” The bizarre change was made in light of concerns related to “diversity and inclusion.”

According to a memo from the society accessed by Libs of TikTok, the group had concerns about the term “picnic” due to its alleged “historical and offensive connotations.” The memo apologized for “any harm or discomfort” caused by the original terminology.

This stance by the Environmental Law Society can be compared to a similar position taken by the University of Michigan’s IT department a few years ago. The term “picnic” was highlighted on a “Words Matter Task Force” list, which cataloged potentially offensive words and phrases. Other terms on this list included “brown bag,” “blacklist,” and “long time, no see.”

However, the origin of the word “picnic” was examined by Reuters, and their analysis suggested that the term does not have roots in “racist lynchings.” Instead, the word is derived from the French term “pique-nique,” which dates back over 300 years and refers to a social gathering similar to a potluck. Interestingly, the UNLV event memo even made use of the term “potluck.”

While Reuters did mention that lynchings of black Americans in the 19th and 20th centuries sometimes took place in gatherings that might have been termed “picnics,” PolitiFact pointed out that the more accurate historical term is “spectacle lynchings.” In these events, attendees often took photographs and sought out keepsakes.

David Pilgrim from Ferris State University, who curates the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, stated that while it might be plausible that some used the term “picnic” in relation to lynchings, the origin of the word “picnic” is not tied to such events.

In a similar incident in 2021, Brandeis University’s student group faced substantial ridicule and eventually removed “picnic” from their list of “oppressive” terms.

When The College Fix reached out to the UNLV Environmental Law Society’s President, Julianna Ness, for comments on why “picnic” might be considered offensive, there was no response.

The College Fix has observed and documented numerous instances where universities have raised concerns over specific terminology. Words like “chief,” “step,” “ladies and gentlemen,” “snowflake,” “brainstorm,” and “American” have all faced scrutiny in recent years.