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YES! University of Chicago Blasts 'Safe Spaces' in Letter to Students...
We all have a good chuckle over trigger-warnings (see At Oxford, Students Can Now Walk Out On Lectures Over ‘Trigger Warnings’ and Liberal Columbia University Students Now Demand Trigger Warnings From Professors) because the people who need said warnings set themselves up to be mocked. Easy targets. We take them.
So this letter that the University of Chicago sent all incoming freshman was refreshing...
Once here you will discover that one of the University of Chicago’s defining characteristics is our commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression. … Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.
Starts off sounding pretty boiler plate. But wait for it...
Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.
University of Chicago gets it.
Imagine that. A college campus allowing a free exchange of opposing viewpoints. The true meaning of "diversity."
What the University of Chicago did was a brilliant marketing move, yes, but methinks they're also trying to spare themselves of Generation Snowflake which may as well be locusts, destroying college attendance rates and tainting college reputations, both of which result in a negative impaction of colleges' bottom lines. See Mizzou Enrollment Drops Like a Stone Following Ridiculous Protests.
It's also a not so subtle slap at colleges which revoke speaker invitations of individuals some student groups deem "triggering." Read Tolerance? Ben Shapiro BANNED From Speaking at Liberal University...
Yes, for right now it's just one college and one letter. But it signifies a shift. Generation Snowflake is facing pushback. It's about time. 18 year olds shouldn't be coddled. If you don't like an opinion which is not your own, suck it up buttercup. Welcome to the real world. We can't all retreat to intellectual "safe spaces" if we get all hurty over words.
The University of Chicago gets it. Question is how many other colleges will take the same approach?
Speaking of destroying safe spaces? Trigger warning: