Free Speech v. Safe Spaces - What is Happening on College Campuses?

Just curious to get WSO's thoughts on this issue. I know that at my school right now (small liberal arts school), this shit is blowing up and in a very unproductive/scary way. At Yale, this issue largely cropped up because of the email below. Article below from Atlantic also really hits the nail on the head.

This year, we seem afraid that college students are unable to decide how to dress themselves on Halloween," she wrote."I don't wish to trivialize genuine concerns about cultural and personal representation, and other challenges to our lived experience in a plural community. I know that many decent people have proposed guidelines on Halloween costumes from a spirit of avoiding hurt and offense. I laud those goals, in theory, as most of us do. But in practice, I wonder if we should reflect more transparently, as a community, on the consequences of an institutional (bureaucratic and administrative) exercise of implied control over college students

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The full article is here.

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Comments (53)

Nov 11, 2015

The fact that these "adults" need the school to coddle their feelings is evidence enough that Yale made a poor decision in accepting these students who are clearly not mature enough to handle an academic environment where you may encounter different viewpoints than your own.

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Nov 11, 2015

Liberal SJWs are taking over college campuses, and the faculty and staff are too pussy to control their schools.

Also, if colleges got rid of affirmative action and favoritism for legacies and recruited athletes, I guarantee you that this would be happening with far less frequency.

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Nov 11, 2015

Pure insanity. This shit used to be hilarious to laugh at when it was just some weird chick with blue hair on tumblr; - now it's actually becoming more and more mainstream.

Thankfully have never met a SJW in real life yet. Hoping this stops here and doesn't advance beyond college campuses.

Nov 11, 2015

goodness gracious

mbavsmfin:

I don't wear watches bro. Because it's always MBA BALLER time!

Nov 11, 2015

Blame their parents and the schools they went to. They are simply a product of their environment.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Nov 11, 2015

More than anything, I've just seen this growing movement of students where being the devil's advocate or being on the dissenting side is akin to being supportive of racism or rape. It's absolutely absurd.

@heister, so do you think that colleges are not doing enough to foster free speech or at the very least, support those who present a counter-argument to a lot of these issues?

Nov 11, 2015

Situations like this make me wish I had pulled my GPA up and thought more about law school (didn't have a terrible GPA, but towards the bottom of ranges for the good schools). It would be really cool to be a 1st amendment lawyer and work for an organization like FIRE. Applies more to Mizzou than Yale given the public school dynamic but these kids are going to enter the real world someday.

But then I researched actually going through with law school, and I quickly reaffirmed why I never seriously considered law school after sophomore year.

On a related note, the South Park episode on Mizzou is going to be incredible.

Edit:

Student reporter did a really good job handling the situation (the end is the best).

Nov 16, 2015
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Situations like this make me wish I had pulled my GPA up and thought more about law school (didn't have a terrible GPA, but towards the bottom of ranges for the good schools). It would be really cool to be a 1st amendment lawyer and work for an organization like FIRE. Applies more to Mizzou than Yale given the public school dynamic but these kids are going to enter the real world someday.

But then I researched actually going through with law school, and I quickly reaffirmed why I never seriously considered law school after sophomore year.

On a related note, the South Park episode on Mizzou is going to be incredible.

Edit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRlRAyulN4o

Student reporter did a really good job handling the situation (the end is the best).

I've been curious about the free speech obligations of private schools that take, well, countless tens of millions of federal tax payer dollars. I know there are schools like Grove City College that don't even accept federal aid, which allows them to do essentially anything they want. I'm pretty sure Yale takes at least 9 figures in aid and research grants. I can't believe they have no legal speech obligations as a result.

Nov 11, 2015

I almost wish I was in college these days. It would be great to be that guy who tells all of these idiots to quit being a bunch of pussies. The problems arises in that these same people who are overly sensitive have a belief that they are somehow able to control the destinies of those around them. Those whom are of slightly stronger mind and do actively protest with these people are still of too weak a mind to actually speak out against them.

@Great White Short The colleges are too weak to push back, the professors are too wrapped up in their 15 minuets of fame that comes along with teaching this kind of idiocy, you have to realize that college is really just one giant echo chamber. People say that online blogs are horrible places for group think, but these have nothing on college campuses. When in reality professors just teach what is in vogue at the moment. They have to because they have to have people attend their classes. So it turns into a massive circle jerk and everyone starts foaming at the mouth because everyone else around them is foaming at the mouth as well.

The idea that there is or has really every been free speech on college campuses is a laughable idea. In the past you could at least present counter ideas but you were still chided if you actually agreed with them.

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Best Response
Nov 12, 2015

The problem is that what has been happening at Yale and Missouri is a natural combination of the anti-intellectual side of the left and the coddled nature of our (millennial) generation, both of which are a result of policies and ways of thinking put forward by the very collegiate employees now being shrieked at on campus or forced to resign.

Many liberals I know are horrified of the result as well, but Frankenstein's monster is now loose and situations where liberal students scream at liberal professors who have a history of personally advocating for liberal ideals because they dare implicate that other opinions exist in the world.

Anti-intellectualism has run rampant through my side of the political isle and has poisoned the Republican party for the past decade and now you are seeing the leftist version. When differences of opinion are shouted down and the holders of those opinions are bullied, nothing good ever happens.

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Nov 12, 2016

Bringing this back up again... it's because of this leftist anti-intellectualism that Donald Trump is now President-Elect

Nov 12, 2015

Just take a look at the attitude of the SJWs in this vid, tells you everything you need to know. A bunch of entitled selfcentered pussies that dont want to be confronted with reality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM-VE8r7MSI
And those are the people asking for "affirmative action" because they are "discriminated against", failing to see that they are in fact simply whiny cunts who alienate any intelligent human being.

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Nov 12, 2015

Guys. just relax.

Look at the video closely. It seems like there were ~20 students in the group. That is not a heavy representation of the student body in any way. These are the folks on the fringe. Nobody is taking this story seriously. The only reason we know of this is because of the media trying to sensationalize it...

Let's face it.. most people are not fans of SJWs ... and it can be seen here.. barely a handful of students.. everybody else is going around minding their own business... you are wasting your time if you are focusing on this story..

Nov 11, 2015

It was actually about 500 people at the protest. Regardless of that discrepancy, it is even worse if it was a only 20 people having such an out-sized effect on the larger population. This is what people find infuriating about SJWs, that a handful of them make life a living hell for everyone else.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Nov 12, 2015
undefined:

Nobody is taking this story seriously.

I mean, Mizzou's president and chancellor both resigned and now similar calls for resignations are popping up at colleges around the country.

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Nov 12, 2015

Well some people care enough about this stuff to fire a nobel prize winner. E.g. Tim Hunt https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Hunt

Nov 16, 2015
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Well some people care enough about this stuff to fire a nobel prize winner. E.g. Tim Hunt https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Hunt

That's literally--not figuratively--that's literally insane. Geesh!

Nov 12, 2015

@CRE I was about to chime in about how dumb so many conservatives are in, ahem, rural areas. But I think you hit the nail on the head. There are simple jacks on both sides of the aisle and this is the left version of it. Very well put.

Nov 12, 2015

That kid at Missouri who refused to eat comes from a like $20MM railroad family in Texas, what a joke.

Nov 16, 2015

Because rich people can't have principles and take a stand? I think you may have the wrong idea of what "hunger strike" means.

Nov 12, 2015

Its all about balance.

College speech codes that prevent violent threats or hate speech do more good than harm.

College speech codes that prevent discussion of critical vantages do more harm than good.

Eg. #1 "Kill Patriots fans. Or, patriot fans are less than human."
Eg. #2 "Patriot fans exhibit behaviors than make football less enjoyable."

Free speech doesn't give anyone the right intimidate, coerce; free speech does not mean you can harm any persons opportunity to an education.

But campuses should be cathedrals to the god of free speech, to the debate of worthy ideas. Some 18-22 year olds are capable of transformational ideas, many are not.

Nov 11, 2015

Guess what, threats are already illegal. They are called assault, and yes it is assault. Battery is the act of carrying out an assault.

Also coercion requires more than just some words. You have to have some kind of actual power over a situation. Merely saying something regardless of what weak minded people might think, doesn't constitute a level of power that would be held up in a court of law as coercion.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Nov 12, 2015

Thank you for your nonresponsive reply. I am aware that violent acts are illegal. Campus speech codes are not criminal prosecutions, they are codes that define the limits of behavior acceptable as a participating student in an educational environment.

Criminal prosecutions require a high standard of proof and multiple branches of government and are neither sufficient to replace nor mutually exclusive to campus speech codes.

This is not to defend the particular contents of any code, only that, properly written and applied, speech codes are not fascist limits on constitutional behavior, but an agreement between students, staff and faculty to conduct themselves in a civil manner.

Nov 16, 2015
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Free speech doesn't give anyone the right intimidate, coerce; free speech does not mean you can harm any persons opportunity to an education

I may agree with this statement in principle, but the question is, who determines what speech is "intimidating" and "coercive"? These left-wing college students are claiming that dissent from their position with words is akin to "violence". So where does one set the bar in determining what is "violent" speech?

Nov 12, 2015

Great question. It's important to distinguish between an individual (a classmate, a TA from a different department) and collective enunciation (when a college pres speaks in an official capacity, etc.)

Context is also key. A rope with a complicated knot is not hate speech, but a noose is.

In that sense, having a bright line all encompassing statement would probably lack the nuance of reality.

Nov 12, 2015

Honestly, I'm shocked that these people got into Yale. It really degrades the quality of an otherwise fine student population.
These kids are who banks are targeting? Just because of a name on their diploma? If this continues, the newly minted millienial workforce will be a poor talent pool.

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Nov 11, 2015

Personally, I don't think these protestors having taken the time to understand why this particular movement was so "successful" in getting rid of the Chancellor and President. Without the support of the football team, they wouldn't of had the success they had, which in and of itself is painfully hilarious. This is a football team that just a few years ago was accused of a fairly systematic rape culture that resulted in a fellow-student athlete committing suicide.

I guess some people want to eat their cake and have it too. I've linked an article about the Mizzou football team if anyone is interested.

https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/missouri-foo...

Nov 11, 2015
undefined:

Personally, I don't think these protestors having taken the time to understand why this particular movement was so "successful" in getting rid of the Chancellor and President. Without the support of the football team, they wouldn't of had the success they had, which in and of itself is painfully hilarious. This is a football team that just a few years ago was accused of a fairly systematic rape culture that resulted in a fellow-student athlete committing suicide.

I guess some people want to eat their cake and have it too. I've linked an article about the Mizzou football team if anyone is interested.https://sports.vice.com/en_us/article/missouri-foo...

This is what happens when college derive so much money and prestige from sports rather than academics.

This is merely one symptom, among many, of America's systemic decline and hopelessness of this country's future.

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Nov 13, 2015

Yep, now if only they would have let that moron starve himself.

I love how people that protest lack of acceptance are the least accepting people ever when someone else has a different opinion.

Nov 12, 2015

lol. this old canard. Why don't those anti-racists, who are so tolerant of difference, just be tolerant of my racism? great job.

Nov 12, 2015

None of the SJW'rs are ever good looking.

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Nov 13, 2015

In before "that whole yale thing"

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Nov 13, 2015

"Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America."

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Nov 13, 2015

"What can you tell me about Paul Allen?"
"I'm at a loss, he was part...."

I'm 100% with the @MBAGrad2015" on this one, that Pres and Chancellor are the biggest pussies around. I would've stripped the scholarship of any player who sat out of the game. This group has some similarities to a union with the exception being the students have almost zero leverage.

It's time for the Donald in 2016

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Nov 12, 2015

Please tell me I'm missing something and this thunderfoot guy is just a maniac who makes stuff up...

Nov 16, 2015

This is looking more and more likely every day:

Nov 16, 2015

Every time I see this shit I worry a little less about my future job prospects...

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Nov 16, 2015

I go to a school which fosters a large liberal (hippie) culture. The amount of times I have gotten shit for saying something "insensitive" (eg. saying the phrase 'black people' in lieu of African American/ or saying anything along the lines of how I enjoy being straight because apparently it translates to hating homos) is ridiculous. In addition to that we can't fucking read anything in class which is in the least bit controversial because of it acting as a "trigger"- literally my least favorite word. Completely agree with having a more conservative school government.

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Nov 11, 2015

You should announce in class that people talking about being triggered by anything is triggering for you. See if anyone picks up on the hypocrisy, or if they all run to comfort you.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

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Nov 16, 2015

I made a passing comment about that once last year and some girl went off on me about how I probably grew up in a bourgeois household with a Father who drove a Ferrari and how "the struggle is real" for those who are in the lower echelons of society. Fuck them

Nov 16, 2015

To be honest, I kinda like these movements. It's just further evidence that there are more suckers in the world than ever to sell stuff to.

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Nov 16, 2015

Oh man I do not miss this part of university life at all. I once got tarred and feathered for a taking a moderately controversial opinion on cultural graduations (basically we had every minority group on campus wanting their own separate grad celebration which ended up costing the student govt an arm and a leg, and I always thought was like the most racist thing possible...) Seems like things have gotten even worse since I was in u/g in the early 2000s. I still have some facebook acquaintances from college who seem to have never grown out of their penchant for activism. One of them literally is like a full-time protestor of some sort for greenpeace or something even left of that. I always see her chaining herself to other like minded peoples in a struggle to preserve some native lands or some such. It's kinda pathetic. I'm not sure how she sustains herself, but if you don't mind poverty I guess it's an interesting life.

In any case, these clowns are completely counterproductive. They never make it anywhere in the private sector because people are just too damn busy for that shit. I mean I guess people generally try to be fair and non-discriminatory in making hiring decisions, but beyond that there's literally no time for p.c. bullshit. As an example, when discussing investing themes/demographics etc, often people will try to drive home a point about the growing Mexican population and how that impacts certain consumer/financial names etc. Often analysts (these are highly educated people) will use the term "hispanics" which I always thought was kinda racist. Meanwhile I've heard others just call them "browns". No one cares. In fact, when I present on a similar thematic and say something like "people of latino origin" the PMs and analysts all look at me like i'm some sort of p.c. crusader.

Ain't nobody got time for that!

Nov 16, 2015

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