New Triggers; Old Triggers – University of Chicago edition

In an unforced error, the Dean of Students at the University of Chicago published a letter welcoming students to the university by telling them there would be no safe spaces or trigger warnings at his fine institution. The letter went viral, and we returned predictably to the same conversations we’ve been having about this for two years. On the one hand, people from Chait to Coulter decry trigger warnings as signs of mollycoddled youth and a sign of the death of America. On the other, more sensible people say that while sometimes administrations leverage student speech requests to punish freshmen, the practice of treating students with empathy in fact creates the possibility of speech from more diverse voices.

Anyway, we’ve been through this before over at How Did We Get Into This Mess.

Here’s a great piece by Kevin Gannon, including a copy of the original letter.

Here’s a key tweet run by Eve Ewing.

This morning, the Dean walked it back a bit, because the Dean has no authority over what the faculty do really.

My thoughts:

It’s not that student speech requests aren’t sometimes an issue, but they are way at the bottom of things that worry me. Here are two issues at the top:

And of course it’s really about power.

Here we go again.

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