Good luck in the real world. You’ll need it.
A senior at the University of Chicago is unhappy about the school’s position on trigger warnings and safe spaces.
Naturally, the New York Times gave her a place to defend them:
Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces and Free Speech, Too
I didn’t get the University of Chicago welcome letter that made the rounds on the internet earlier this summer. I’m a senior this year, and the message from Jay Ellison, the dean of undergraduate students, was for the incoming class: Don’t expect trigger warnings or safe spaces here. The university, he said, was committed to free expression and would not shield students from ideas they disagreed with or found offensive.
The implication was that students who support trigger warnings and safe spaces are narrow-minded, oversensitive and opposed to dialogue. The letter betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding of what the terms “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” mean, and came across as an embarrassing attempt to deflect attention from serious issues on campus.
A trigger warning is pretty simple: It consists of a professor’s saying in class, “The reading for this week includes a graphic description of sexual assault,” or a note on a syllabus that reads, “This course deals with sensitive material that may be difficult for some students.”
A safe space is an area on campus where students — especially but not limited to those who have endured trauma or feel marginalized — can feel comfortable talking about their experiences. This might be the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs or it could be Hillel House, but in essence, it’s a place for support and community.
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