University Of Chicago Shuts Down Millennials: Does Not Support ‘Trigger Warnings’ At School

University Of Chicago Shuts Down Millennials: Does Not Support ‘Trigger Warnings’ At School

A welcome letter sent by the University of Chicago this week to incoming freshmen warned them that they might hear things that might make them uncomfortable and that the university does not support “trigger warnings” as part of its commitment to freedom of expression.

“Dear Class of 2020 student,” the welcome letter from the school’s Dean of Students John Ellison begins. It goes on to explain the university’s commitment to freedom of expression and inquiry. Students “are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn without fear of censorship.” 

The letter goes on:

“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.”

Opening up the campus environment to mirror the real world is commendable. Once students graduate, they will be expected to handle and work with a spectrum of voices and beliefs as adults.  And speaking as someone who has attended many conferences where “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” were set as policy important discussions became worthless because there can never be a counter-point opinion.

The letter also states that the environment the university is seeking is one of civility and mutual respect, not harassment. Given our millennial generation’s tendency to be “too PC,” it is commendable that the University of Chicago is taking a stand to challenge that.

Todays students need to be reminded that a university does not exist to coddle their notions but to challenge and expand them.

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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1 Response

  1. Bravo Mr Ellison! I believe that we have become so concerned with being “PC” we are afraid to say anything at all. Then we find that the only people saying anything are those and being heard,30 years ago we would have seen published only between Dear Abbey and the Daily Horoscope. This “PC culture only feeds the apathy we have as a people. This nation founded on “Freedom” of thought,expression and religion. Is now a nation and people afraid to be different.

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