In a very much needed, refreshing breath of fresh air, the University of Chicago has rejected much of the social justice “virtues” that many of its adherents consider holy.
One of those tenets is the idea of a safe space, or a place where opposing ideas, and open speech are not allowed. In some colleges, this comes in the form of rooms with videos of puppies, play-dough, and crayons – I wish I was kidding – and in some places this “safe space” means the entire college.
Not at the University of Chicago, however. In a letter to incoming students, the college essentially told freshman, in a very polite way, that they can take their safe spaces and shove it. This includes the some students requiring “trigger warnings,” and disinviting speakers because they may find their views disagreeable.
“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.”
“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.”
In a world where too many students rely on being unchallenged in every thought they have, it’s good to see the University of Chicago putting forth the effort to forge adults, instead of perpetual children who would live in constant fear of opposition.
It’s my hope that more colleges have this kind of attitude towards the free expression of ideas, and release these views for the world to see. Too much of the news is filthy with stories of Universities caving to this weak mentality. It would be good to see more instances of resistance to it, like the University of Chicago has demonstrated.