Universities are struggling to balance the free exchange of ideas with students’ growing desire to be shielded from offensive views...Since when do students run the universities? And just how in the hell does shielding the precious little things from offensive views prepare them for life in the real world, where they will likely be offended on a daily basis?
From Missouri to Yale to Wesleyan to the University of California, public and private schools have become embroiled in controversies that have some faculty concerned about the stifling of free speech...That used to be called "free speech," which lately seems to be an endangered species.
...a hunger strike and protests over racial incidents that forced out the University of Missouri’s president on Monday have supercharged the debate.
On Thursday, the dean of students at California’s Claremont McKenna College resigned under pressure from student activists of color, two of whom had begun hunger strikes demanding her ouster ... minority students felt their concerns about racial incidents had been ignored for months by administrators
Last month, Wesleyan University’s student government voted to consider slashing funds for the student paper after it published an opinion piece criticizing the Black Lives Matter movement.
At Yale University, a debate over Halloween costumes morphed into a racially charged protest that is still rocking the Ivy League institution... It escalated when a Yale lecturer responded with an email suggesting it may be all right to be “a little bit obnoxious…a little bit inappropriate or provocative or, yes, offensive.”
The demonstrations at Missouri spurred questions about press as well as academic freedoms, after an assistant mass media professor was captured on video trying to block a student journalist from taking photos of a protester encampment in a public quad.Oh, the irony. A mass media professor opposing freedom of the press. Nowhere else but on campus.
The University of Michigan found itself at the center of controversy this past spring when a group of Muslim students protested a campus screening of the film “American Sniper.”
E. Royster Harper, Michigan’s vice president for student life, called canceling the movie a mistake. But she also voiced concern for students who felt marginalized on campus, and said she understood the need to create a “safe setting” where controversial topics could be discussed.Here's another perspective on a 'safe space.'
And just when you think it can't get any crazier, we have this story.
The University of Minnesota has no official recognition of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. A campus group proposed a resolution that the university observe a "moment of recognition" every Sep. 11.
“Therefore be it resolved, that the Minnesota Student Association formally recommends to the University of Minnesota Administration that there be a moment of recognition on the morning of September 11th, 2016 and all years following.”Seems pretty non-controversial, right? All it's asking for is one moment of recognition and remembrance. Surely that's a slam dunk.
The resolution failed to pass.
Why? In this day and age, who knows, but consider the following statements in response to the proposal.
several members (of the Student Association)... were militant in their opposition to it due to a "perceived bias toward Muslims.”Words fail me...
“The passing of this resolution might make a space that is unsafe for students on campus even more unsafe.”
“Islamophobia and racism fueled through that are alive and well.”
“When will we start having moments of silence for all of the times white folks have done something terrible?”
Back in my day, I thought the college protesters were bad enough. Little did I know that they would get much, much worse.