In an age where education seems to have taken on the role of not only teaching, but “protecting” our future generations from controversial ideas or triggering dialect, providing “safe spaces” for hurt feelings, it’s surprising to see a major university take a stand.
The University of Chicago has sent a letter to all incoming Freshmen, informing them that they will find no “safe spaces” on their educational journey at their campus.
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.
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.
With the disturbing trend of coddling our youth with safe spaces at a time when they are suppose to be exposed to difficult subjects and opinions opposite their own, it seems some campuses are finally putting their foot down.
.@UChicago does not:
🎓 “support so-called ‘trigger warnings'”
🎓 “cancel invited speakers”
🎓 condone “safe spaces” pic.twitter.com/DH7IVfYZ4U
— Justice Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) August 25, 2016
Perhaps after witnessing the weak response to social justice rioting at the University of Missouri last year, and the resulting decline in enrollment that followed, other educational bodies are finally getting the message. When you allow a small group of radicals to dictate university policy and force staff members (including the dean) to resign, along with instituting mandatory “social justice” courses, prospective students will find other institutions that will actually give them a legitimate education.
“Education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think. Universities should be expected to provide the conditions within which hard thought, and therefore strong disagreement, independent judgment, and the questioning of stubborn assumptions, can flourish in an environment of the greatest freedom.”
Of course, the ideas of different members of the University community will often and quite naturally conflict. But it is not the proper role of the University to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive.
In a word, the University’s fundamental commitment is to the principle that debate or deliberation may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.
Maybe the liberal bodies governing our higher learning facilities over the past decade have realized that the same monster they created to champion their social justice movements, will eventually turn upon them as well.