An Urgent Letter To College Students, Safe Spaces Are Hurting Our Educational Experience

via LookCatalog
via LookCatalog

In the past week I have learned two things. One, the university I attend has a student union run by idiots. Two, those idiots are willing to support policies that get them ‘banned’ for raising their hand in a meeting.

Last week I attended a vote that was organized by my student union that aimed to put forward multiple policies. At this meeting, upon entering I received one slip in which I would cast my vote, and one on which I could make a ‘safe space’ complaint.

What’s a ‘safe space’ you ask? It’s a policy that my university has in place which means anyone can complain if they feel threatened in any situation. And we had a complaint. Over a raised hand. And a head nod.

Our vice-president, Imogen Wilson, nearly got thrown out of this vote for raising her hand during a speech about disabled students, during which she was accused of failing them for not responding to an open letter. She simply raised her hand to attempt a response at being accused of failing in her role, an instinctive response.

Funnily enough when asked about the complaint she claimed she still supported the ‘safe space’ policy. I know this seems like a bunch of young university kids making a big deal out of a silly complaint, but it runs deeper than that. Over the past few months we’ve had certain speakers banned from our university simply for talking about controversial issues. Songs such as Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ was banned from being played in the student union for its sexual connotations and fancy dress and sombreros were banned for potentially being viewed as offensive.

What makes this even worse is that there has been an ongoing petition against the safe space policy at Edinburgh started by Charlie Peters which has received over a 1000 signatures. Not only does this show overwhelming opposition by students against this policy, it demonstrates that they want to be able to have the freedom to discuss controversial matters on campus.

By aiming to protect us as young students with this ‘safe space’ policy, our university is oppressing our right to express ourselves and our opinions. It’s stopping us from being able to hear controversial views and opinions and make up our own mind about them. What’s worse is that once we leave university we’ll be faced with all these things we’re being ‘protected’ against, and how will we deal with it then? Take out our ‘safe space’ complaint strips? I‘m not sure those count in the real world.

But guess what? This is the real world. The reality is that outside of campus students will have to deal with controversial issues in everyday life. There will always be people that have values and opinions that might be different from yours or that you don’t agree with but the solution is not to ban them, it’s to be able to discuss them, to show others and yourself why your opinions are right.

Well, if I can’t speak freely at my university, at least I can speak my mind here. TC mark

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  • http://radicalbanterandunphasedmusings.wordpress.com unphasedblackgirl

    I’d honestly hate to be “that guy”, but it sounds like you just want to be a dick without anyone saying anything to you. The purpose of safe spaces is to create a community where marginalized people are able to exist without having to experience discriminatory remarks that seep into our everyday conversations that are deemed “normal”. It sounds like your school may have gotten the application of safe spaces wrong. Sure people may leave feeling like they are not free to say what they want, but *newsflash* no one really cares about the protecting the thoughts and opinions of those who are always the loudest. No, college is not real world, but your college has a responsibility to protect all of its students. That means implementing policies that they believe will benefit everyone. If you have such a problem, then do your due diligence and get in a position to change or challenge it. Leaping to the internet only makes you part of the problem.

  • https://brenicojayblog.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/an-urgent-letter-to-college-students-safe-spaces-are-hurting-our-educational-experience/ An Urgent Letter To College Students, Safe Spaces Are Hurting Our Educational Experience – Lifestyle Writing
  • http://skanlynblog.wordpress.com SKANLYN

    Sadly, safe spaces are making their way to the real world, at least in Corporate America. In order to be sensitive to the needs of cry baby millennials, we’re now required to maintain a psychologically work environment free from criticism and judgement and where anyone can say the stupidest shit or propose the dumbest ideas and everyone gets input on every decision, even if they have no knowledge of, experience with, or understanding of the topic at hand. Maybe I’m just being negative but this whole idea of revolving everything around personal sensitivities and making everyone feel important is what I believe is gong to collapse our civilization.

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