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said, says In general, says is preferred for attribution. Says or said is a neutral word and allows the reader to focus on the quote. Other words, such as acknowledges, claims, contends, and states carry more meaning and can apply a bias to a story. Different publications have different guidelines concerning the use of said versus says. News releases generally use said.

Scheumann Stadium

Scramble Light Nickname for the intersection of McKinley and Riverside avenues. Pedestrians can press a button at each corner that stops traffic in all directions and allows those on foot to cross the street. A similar stop is at the intersection of McKinley and Neely avenues, which should not be referred to as the Scramble Light.

seasons Lowercase spring, summer, winter, and fall when making generic references to semesters. See also: breaks, semester.

semester Lowercase.

sexist writing, avoiding Here are a few hints to avoid using unnecessary gender-specific language: Use gender neutral nouns such as spokesperson, department chair, mail carrier, police officer, etc. Use plurals, which use they on second reference. Ex.: Students need to hand in their applications by March 10.
If applicable, use second person (you). Ex.: You need to fill out your application by March 10. 
he or she and his or her is acceptable, but use sparingly.

spokesman, spokeswoman, spokesperson All are acceptable. Preferred style is title in lowercase following name. Capitalize before a name if part of a formal title.

sports teams Ball State is a member of the Mid-American Conference and holds Division I status for all its intercollegiate athletic teams. Men’s volleyball is the only team not in the MAC. It is part of the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association. MIVA on second reference. See also Mid-American Conference and Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball

spring break Don’t capitalize.

strategic plan On first reference, use The Centennial Commitment (18 by ’18). The Centennial Commitment refocuses and extends 18 major goals for the university to accomplish by 2018 (the university’s 100th anniversary) giving rise to its name, The Centennial Commitment (18 by ’18). Each goal applies to one of three major themes highlighted in the refreshed Ball State University vision: Ball State University aspires to be a model of the most student-centered and community-engaged of the 21st century public research universities transforming entrepreneurial learners into impactful leaders committed to improving quality of life for all. 

student organizations Can be found at


Student Government Association On second reference and in headlines, SGA is acceptable.

Student Recreation and Wellness Center

Student Senate Policy-making body of Student Government Association.

summer session/semester Lowercase. See also: seasons.

syllabus Plural is syllabi.

University Marketing and Communications
West Quad, Room 304
Ball State University
Muncie, Indiana 47306

Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. EST Monday - Friday. For after-hours calls, dial the number below and you will be directed to an on-call staff person.
Phone: 765-285-1560
Fax: 765-285-5442
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