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Cornell Student Assemby Votes Unanimously in Favor of Requiring Trigger Warnings on ‘Traumatic’ Course Content

Cornell Student Assemby Votes Unanimously in Favor of Requiring Trigger Warnings on ‘Traumatic’ Course Content

“It is troubling how little academic freedom is regarded by many of the students here at Cornell”

If you need trigger warnings, are you really ready for higher education?

The New York Post reports:

Cornell’s classroom trigger warnings are a disaster for free speech

Cornell University’s student assembly has voted unanimously in favor of requiring trigger warnings for “traumatic” content in classes — a move that would undermine academic freedom on campus.

The recently introduced resolution “implores all instructors to provide content warnings on the syllabus that may be discussed,” meaning professors would be on the hook for anticipating what readings or other materials might “traumatize” their students.

This spells disaster for free speech.

According to the decision, topics or mentions that would require a trigger warning include “but [are] not limited to” sexual assault, domestic violence, self-harm, suicide, child abuse, racial hate crimes, transphobic violence, homophobic harassment and xenophobia.

Recently-released meeting minutes show the student assembly voted to adopt the resolution last week.

I’m a fellow at the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), an advocacy group for campus free speech, and we wrote to Cornell earlier this week imploring the school not to adopt this policy for the sake of academic freedom.

“That Cornell’s student government passed this unanimously should prompt Cornell to take a hard look about how its current crop of students view getting a college education,” FIRE attorney Alex Morey told The Post.

And students are pushing back, too. Cornell senior and College Republicans president Avery Bower said he “firmly opposes” the resolution.

“It is troubling how little academic freedom is regarded by many of the students here at Cornell,” he told The Post.

“We go to college to be exposed to controversial subject matter, and trigger warnings have a chilling effect on professors and students pursuing Cornell’s stated mission of free inquiry,” Bower added.


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Upstate NY, where snowflakes are present year-round.

Perhaps the faculty senate could vote out all of the students and bring in a set more worthy of a genuinely liberal education.

I’m glad these kids don’t really understand what “traumatic” means. They’ve obviously lived easy lives and good for them. At the same time, it would be wonderful if they weren’t so arrogant about their ignorance.

henrybowman | April 1, 2023 at 4:48 pm

“In Dan Simmons’ Ilium novel, “Eloi” is a nickname for the lazy, uneducated, and uncultured descendants of the human race after the post-humans have left Earth. The name is a reference to Wells’ Eloi. Old-style humans and post-humans rule in Simmons’ novel, with the Eloi being kept in “zoos” in restricted areas on Earth. The Eloi are technically adept but don’t understand the technology; they regress and unlearn millennia of culture, thought and reason, until they are satisfied with the pleasure of merely existing.”

At least in the novel, the Eloi don’t run the place.

BierceAmbrose | April 1, 2023 at 5:19 pm

Trigger Warning Statement, for This Course, per Cornell Policy:

As this is a reality-based course, any class session, topic, content or exercise may be uncomfortable to you at any time. Reality isn’t required to conform to what you like. (<– Sorry, trigger warning, on that.)

The point of this couse is presenting facts new to you, analysis different from your preconceptions, and perspectives not already familiar to you. If you're bugged by new information & etc. assume you'll be triggered a lot. Indeed, if that's you, the more you're triggered, the better this course is doing. (<– Sorry. The notion that there's stuff you don't already know is probably itself triggering. Trigger warning!)

If you rather want to attend recitation of catechism you already believe, there are any number of such religious gatherings listed in our course catalog, each well described. Have at it.

We're heretics here. If that bugs you; stay away.

A Cornell Alumnus votes to disband the Cornell Student Assembly.

Disclaimer: I was accepted by Cornell in ’72 and did not enroll, and my business partner is a graduate. ANY student governing body that voted 100% for Cultural Marxism has betrayed Western Civilization / Christendom. The university has failed in their mission of advancing knowledge for the good of mankind..

They don’t have a trigger warning for differential equations?!! I think diffy Qs deserve warnings.

Cornell itself deserves a trigger warning.

Dear parent or other person paying for _______’s education. Your child or charge has strongly expressed a wish to remain ignorant, and to keep other students ignorant. This is inconsistent with a proper education in any major at this university, or any other proper institution of education that we know of. You may choose to withdraw him/her/it from this university while it is still possible to get a partial refund of tuition for the term. We suggest finding them a menial job with hard physical labor so they may learn the value of education before attempting college again.

However, their efforts to keep other students in ignorance are entirely unacceptable. This is the first and only warning. Should this be repeated, they will be expelled, with a recommendation on their permanent record that they be barred from any school but a trade school, and that only after successful psychological treatment.

Every action by the Student Assembly is subject to approval or veto by the President. On Monday, President Pollack issues a very strong statement rejecting this recommendation: and

The Student Assembly is elected annually in April with the new members taking office in May. I think that on the eve of the elections, there is a bit of political posturing, so resolutions like this get adopted without debate or a roll call vote.