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College students and their safe space

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Moliere
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College students and their safe space

Post by Moliere » Mon May 09, 2016 10:27 am

There is so much nonsense going on with college students right now that I am starting a new thread to discuss it.

Obama's full remarks at Howard University commencement ceremony
Another Howard alum, Zora Neale Hurston, once said -- this is a good quote here: “Nothing that God ever made is the same thing to more than one person.” Think about that. That’s why our democracy gives us a process designed for us to settle our disputes with argument and ideas and votes instead of violence and simple majority rule.

So don’t try to shut folks out, don’t try to shut them down, no matter how much you might disagree with them. There's been a trend around the country of trying to get colleges to disinvite speakers with a different point of view, or disrupt a politician’s rally. Don’t do that -- no matter how ridiculous or offensive you might find the things that come out of their mouths. Because as my grandmother used to tell me, every time a fool speaks, they are just advertising their own ignorance. Let them talk. Let them talk. If you don’t, you just make them a victim, and then they can avoid accountability.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t challenge them. Have the confidence to challenge them, the confidence in the rightness of your position. There will be times when you shouldn’t compromise your core values, your integrity, and you will have the responsibility to speak up in the face of injustice. But listen. Engage. If the other side has a point, learn from them. If they’re wrong, rebut them. Teach them. Beat them on the battlefield of ideas. And you might as well start practicing now, because one thing I can guarantee you -- you will have to deal with ignorance, hatred, racism, foolishness, trifling folks. (Laughter.) I promise you, you will have to deal with all that at every stage of your life. That may not seem fair, but life has never been completely fair. Nobody promised you a crystal stair. And if you want to make life fair, then you've got to start with the world as it is.
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by GreenGoo » Mon May 09, 2016 10:47 am

Holy crap. I hope history is kind to Obama.

edit: I unfairly and irrelevantly brought Trump into it.

What I wanted to say is :clap: Mr. President. Good job.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Moliere » Mon May 09, 2016 8:59 pm

Good luck booking your commencement speaker.

Scripps College students, faculty protest Madeleine Albright's selection as commencement speaker
The search for commencement speakers who will entertain and inspire without offending students' notions of political correctness has become increasingly fraught on campuses.

"It's a lose-lose for colleges," said attorney Ari Cohn of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, who tracks the disinvitation of commencement speakers. "Select somebody who's interesting, and somebody's going to oppose it. Or select somebody who's boring, and everyone's going to oppose it."
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by GreenGoo » Mon May 09, 2016 10:28 pm

I'm torn when it comes to commencement speakers. You want someone you admire to be your commencement speaker. Finding someone that everyone admires is a pretty impossible task. If my college invited Cheney to speak at my graduation, damn straight I would protest. If they invited him to speak on campus, I would simply be vocal in my criticism of him. I wouldn't call for a boycott.

Commencement is a little different than a general speech circuit performance. Imo at least.

I don't have a solution, other than to be flexible instead of rigid. If Bush Jr. was my commencement speaker, I'd be ok with that, even though I didn't like him much (his politics) towards the end of his presidency. Holding out for a perfect speaker, with unreasonably high expectations for "perfect" seems like a bad idea.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Holman » Tue May 10, 2016 7:02 am

GreenGoo wrote: I don't have a solution, other than to be flexible instead of rigid. If Bush Jr. was my commencement speaker, I'd be ok with that, even though I didn't like him much (his politics) towards the end of his presidency. Holding out for a perfect speaker, with unreasonably high expectations for "perfect" seems like a bad idea.
Plus Bernie is only one man.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by ImLawBoy » Tue May 10, 2016 10:00 am

GreenGoo wrote:I'm torn when it comes to commencement speakers. You want someone you admire to be your commencement speaker. Finding someone that everyone admires is a pretty impossible task.
I don't need someone I admire to be a commencement speaker. I'd rather have someone interesting, even if their views were a challenge to my own. You'd have to draw the line somewhere, obviously (I wouldn't support David Duke speaking at graduation, for example), but I'm not sure where that line is. I'd probably be OK with Cheney speaking, even if I found him to be personally abhorrent.

My perspective is from someone who has no idea who spoke at my college graduation (some European politician? a poet? maybe a European poet?), so my graduation was completely unmemorable. The speaker might have been an inspiring speaker with a rich personal history, but it's all background noise to me.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by GreenGoo » Tue May 10, 2016 10:08 am

As I said, I want someone inspirational if I can get 'em, for my commencement.

General speaking engagements? Anyone at all, really. The idea is to expand your thinking (well that's what they were about for me) and if that means listening to nutters, that's still ok. Commencement is a celebration. 1 of life's goals met and behind you, the rest of your life just beginning. I don't want to hear about how the Jews are responsible for the poor job market just as I'm at my most optimistic and excited about the future.

but yeah, if the ceremony is just something that happens and not a significant moment (not graduation, but the ceremony) to you, then that's fine and really anyone will do for a speaker.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by El Guapo » Tue May 10, 2016 10:17 am

A commencement address is a little different from a regular speaking engagement at a university, as it typically involves the school honoring the speaker and thereby associating themselves to some degree with that person in a way that's not really the case if they're just coming to speak on campus. Typically the speaker receives an honorary degree from the university as part of the deal, if I'm not mistaken. To me that puts a limit on the noxiousness of the speaker's views in terms of them being chosen as a commencement speaker.

But to me that just means that, in addition to being accomplished, the person can't be an obvious bigot or otherwise clearly acting in bad faith. That would knock out a commencement speaker like Trump (I might actually not attend if Trump were the speaker) or the like.

But I wouldn't have much issue with Bush, Cheney, or Romney (say) as my commencement speaker, even if I have strong disagreements with them. Or, while I think Mitch McConnell has been bad for American democracy, I would be ok with him.

The main things I would want is an accomplished career (for better or for worse) and to hear from them about their perspectives on that career (what they learned along the way).

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Holman » Tue May 10, 2016 10:45 am

We had Eduard Shevardnadze, which was interesting and relevant in 1991, but then the next year's class had Gorbachev.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Jeff V » Tue May 10, 2016 11:31 am

ImLawBoy wrote: I don't need someone I admire to be a commencement speaker. I'd rather have someone interesting with nothing much to say so I can get out of these hot, uncomfortable robes ASAP.
Fixed it for me.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Defiant » Tue May 10, 2016 12:04 pm

I always thought of Safe Space as a more limited thing. Eg, an lgbt-straight alliance would be a safe space where people could talk and receive support from others, and where the could be open without fear of being attacked or being outed elsewhere, in order to build a community. Same thing with some of the other student groups. But limited in scope, not campus wide, as some people seem to be pushing it.

(Though, of course, harassment shouldn't be tolerated campus wide. But diverse as well as unpopular opinions should be)

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue May 10, 2016 12:16 pm

The problems of late seem to be caused by these groups taking over a public space and demanding that they be allowed to silence, suppress, or expel people that they do not want in their safe space.

Forming up on the quad or in the lobby of a campus building and demanding that they be in control and dictate to any and all who enter isn't a fruitful exercise.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by GreenGoo » Tue May 10, 2016 12:41 pm

Defiant wrote: (Though, of course, harassment shouldn't be tolerated campus wide. But diverse as well as unpopular opinions should be)
Isgrim is correct that the scope of "safe space" has pushed beyond private locations and into public ones. That, combined with both sides (but mostly the PC side) claiming any differing opinion from their own is harassment and bullying, topped off with unprincipled and knee jerk responses from administration has had a huge dampening effect on free dialogue.

So much so that that President saw the need to comment on it directly.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue May 10, 2016 12:50 pm

Bloomberg gets booed when he does it:
The University of Michigan's spring commencement was certainly no "safe space" for Michael Bloomberg.

The former mayor of New York City used part of his address to graduates over the weekend in Ann Arbor to blast the idea of "safe spaces" and other coddling of college students as a "terrible mistake" on the part of college administrations.

"The fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure and shield students from these ideas through 'safe spaces,' 'code words' and 'trigger warnings' is, in my view, a terrible mistake," Bloomberg said, drawing a smattering of boos and some applause.

Bloomberg remarked that college's "whole purpose" is "to learn how to deal with difficult situations — not to run away from them."

"A microaggression is exactly that: micro," he said. "And one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views."

"We can't, and we shouldn't, try — not in politics and not in the workplace," he said.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Moliere » Tue May 10, 2016 12:59 pm

The annoying college students have managed to unite the right and left in their criticism of safe spaces.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Defiant » Tue May 10, 2016 1:25 pm

Yeah, they need to learn now that once you're an adult, there will be no safe space. Apart from the freq... very rare echo chambers where people can hide their heads in. :ninja: :wink:

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by ImLawBoy » Tue May 10, 2016 1:34 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:Bloomberg gets booed when he does it:
The University of Michigan's spring commencement was certainly no "safe space" for Michael Bloomberg.

The former mayor of New York City used part of his address to graduates over the weekend in Ann Arbor to blast the idea of "safe spaces" and other coddling of college students as a "terrible mistake" on the part of college administrations.

"The fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure and shield students from these ideas through 'safe spaces,' 'code words' and 'trigger warnings' is, in my view, a terrible mistake," Bloomberg said, drawing a smattering of boos and some applause.

Bloomberg remarked that college's "whole purpose" is "to learn how to deal with difficult situations — not to run away from them."

"A microaggression is exactly that: micro," he said. "And one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can isolate ourselves from those who hold different views."

"We can't, and we shouldn't, try — not in politics and not in the workplace," he said.
That's a pretty misleading article. I watched the video linked in the article, and there sounded like more applause than boos for his comments. In fact, it started off as all applause, and the boos seemed at least in part a response to the applause.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Scuzz » Tue May 10, 2016 1:39 pm

I do think it is important to remember that when you here these stories about students demanding this or that, wanting safe spaces or weird classes or speakers dismissed, you are actually seeing a small minority of students whose voices are being given more importance that they really reflect. On most college campuses nobody cares about this stuff, and even at those campuses that have had trouble (such as Missouri), it is merely a case of the squeeky wheel getting heard.

I am happy to hear Obama addressing this, but I am sure he will be ignored.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Isgrimnur » Tue May 10, 2016 1:47 pm

ImLawBoy wrote:That's a pretty misleading article. I watched the video linked in the article, and there sounded like more applause than boos for his comments. In fact, it started off as all applause, and the boos seemed at least in part a response to the applause.
Would Politico (or any other media company) do that? Deliberately misrepresent a story? :wink:
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by GreenGoo » Tue May 10, 2016 1:58 pm

Scuzz wrote:I do think it is important to remember that when you here these stories about students demanding this or that, wanting safe spaces or weird classes or speakers dismissed, you are actually seeing a small minority of students whose voices are being given more importance that they really reflect. On most college campuses nobody cares about this stuff, and even at those campuses that have had trouble (such as Missouri), it is merely a case of the squeeky wheel getting heard.

I am happy to hear Obama addressing this, but I am sure he will be ignored.
That is also part of the problem. A relatively small group of students dictating what is correct and acceptable to the campus at large, and when the complain loudly enough, the administration puts the force of policy behind it.

Whether other students "care" or not, they are being impacted every time posters are torn down, a speaker is cancelled, one rally is allowed and another is cancelled.

People are trying to create a myopic view of the world that everyone has to use, on campus. That's the opposite of what the college experience should be, in my opinion.

On the plus side, many (the non-private ones anyway) of these administrations are breaking the law and stepping on peoples' rights when they make stupid decisions, and that's going to bite them eventually.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by AWS260 » Tue May 10, 2016 2:37 pm

I consider Octopus Overlords my safe space, and I really don't appreciate this topic, which I considering triggering, being brought up here.

Moderators, please close this thread.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by El Guapo » Tue May 10, 2016 2:38 pm

AWS260 wrote:I consider Octopus Overlords my safe space, and I really don't appreciate this topic, which I considering triggering, being brought up here.

Moderators, please close this thread.
I consider this thread to my safe space, and I really don't appreciate comments asking for it to be closed, which I consider triggering, being brought up here.

Moderators, please delete this comment.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Moliere » Tue May 10, 2016 2:53 pm

El Guapo wrote:
AWS260 wrote:I consider Octopus Overlords my safe space, and I really don't appreciate this topic, which I considering triggering, being brought up here.

Moderators, please close this thread.
I consider this thread to my safe space, and I really don't appreciate comments asking for it to be closed, which I consider triggering, being brought up here.

Moderators, please delete this comment.
Moderators, these two debating the merits of my thread are offensive and I consider them both to be creating microagressions at me. They both need to be banned from OO.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by ImLawBoy » Tue May 10, 2016 2:57 pm

Moliere wrote:
El Guapo wrote:
AWS260 wrote:I consider Octopus Overlords my safe space, and I really don't appreciate this topic, which I considering triggering, being brought up here.

Moderators, please close this thread.
I consider this thread to my safe space, and I really don't appreciate comments asking for it to be closed, which I consider triggering, being brought up here.

Moderators, please delete this comment.
Moderators, these two debating the merits of my thread are offensive and I consider them both to be creating microagressions at me. They both need to be banned from OO.
That is always my preferred approach.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue May 10, 2016 3:06 pm

Margaret Thatcher spoke at my school, can't remember if it was commencement or not but as luck would have it, our small school had a student from Scotland. During Q&A she managed to get out 6 words before the secret service recognized her accent and escorted her out.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by GreenGoo » Tue May 10, 2016 3:49 pm

LawBeefaroni wrote:Margaret Thatcher spoke at my school, can't remember if it was commencement or not but as luck would have it, our small school had a student from Scotland. During Q&A she managed to get out 6 words before the secret service recognized her accent and escorted her out.
Safe spaces are for speakers only!

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Holman » Tue May 10, 2016 4:19 pm

A Scot could say a lot to Thatcher in six words...
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Jeff V » Tue May 10, 2016 5:22 pm

Holman wrote:A Scot could say a lot to Thatcher in six words...
Were those 6 words "Sod off you bloody fucking cunt"?

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Moliere » Wed May 11, 2016 10:50 am

Oxford law students too ‘fragile’ to hear about violent crime: Undergraduates given 'trigger warnings' before traumatic material
They are destined to be barristers and judges – but undergraduates studying law at Oxford are being told before lectures on cases involving violence or death that they can leave if they fear the content will be too ‘distressing’.

The revelation marks the arrival from the US of ‘trigger warnings’ – the politically correct notion that students should be warned before they encounter material that could elicit a traumatic response.

Lecturers have been asked by the director of undergraduate studies for law to ‘bear in mind’ using trigger warnings when they give lectures containing ‘potentially distressing’ content.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Defiant » Wed May 11, 2016 11:18 am

Emory University students who were offended by pro-Trump messages written in chalk around campus can’t force the university to censor that speech because it offends them, a university committee has found.

The university’s Committee for Open Expression – a group of faculty, staff and students – issued a lengthy report on the matter that affirmed the chalkings are protected free speech under university policy. In March, Emory students attracted national attention, and a healthy dose of mockery, for a protest that occurred after the pro-Trump messages were discovered.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 11, 2016 11:34 am

Defiant wrote:
Emory University students who were offended by pro-Trump messages written in chalk around campus can’t force the university to censor that speech because it offends them, a university committee has found.

The university’s Committee for Open Expression – a group of faculty, staff and students – issued a lengthy report on the matter that affirmed the chalkings are protected free speech under university policy. In March, Emory students attracted national attention, and a healthy dose of mockery, for a protest that occurred after the pro-Trump messages were discovered.
link
Yay.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 11, 2016 2:31 pm

I discussed this topic and the American concept of Freedom of Speech with my co-workers.

It did not go well.

We deserve our Human Rights Tribunal.

Also, you can't swear at a judge without being found in contempt, so Freedom of Speech is not...something something. Apparently.

Huge rollyeyes.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by El Guapo » Wed May 11, 2016 2:37 pm

GreenGoo wrote:I discussed this topic and the American concept of Freedom of Speech with my co-workers.

It did not go well.

We deserve our Human Rights Tribunal.

Also, you can't swear at a judge without being found in contempt, so Freedom of Speech is not...something something. Apparently.

Huge rollyeyes.
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Isgrimnur » Wed May 11, 2016 2:38 pm

No rights are absolute. That argument is a red herring. Something something Popehat fire in a theater...
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 11, 2016 2:52 pm

Isgrimnur wrote:No rights are absolute. That argument is a red herring. Something something Popehat fire in a theater...
Something something libel/slander.

Of course it's a Red Herring. But to watch co-worker tell it, it was a coup de grace on the entire "argument". It was dumb, but making this particular co-worker feel bad/angry is something I try to avoid for various reasons.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by GreenGoo » Wed May 11, 2016 2:53 pm

I asked if offending someone should be illegal. The question was ignored and I wasn't able to return to it successfully.

They also struggled with teh concept of illegal (government enforcement) and not allowed (don't talk smack to me in my own house or I'll kick you out).

It was a bit shocking to learn how little they understood about free speech. I shouldn't judge. I'm sure I was just as bad before I started "hanging out" with Americans and reading Popehat.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Moliere » Mon May 16, 2016 12:13 am

Obama was at it again on Sunday: Rutgers University Commencement Address
“I know a couple years ago some folks on this campus got upset that Condoleezza Rice was supposed to speak at a commencement,” said Obama. “I don’t think it’s a secret that I disagree with many of the foreign policies of Dr. Rice and the previous administration. But the notion that this community or the country would be better served by not hearing from a former secretary of state or shutting out what she had to say, I believe that is misguided.”
...
“If you disagree with somebody, bring them in and ask them tough questions,” he said. “Hold their feet to the fire, make them defend their positions. If somebody’s got a bad or offensive idea, prove it wrong. Engage it, debate it, stand up for what you believe in. Don’t be scared to take somebody on. Don’t feel like you got to shut your ears because you’re too fragile and somebody might offend your sensibilities. Go after them if they’re not making any sense. Use your logic and reason and words, and by doing so you’ll strengthen your own position. And you’ll hone your arguments and maybe you’ll learn something and realize maybe you don’t know everything. You may have a new understanding, not only of what your opponents believe but what of you belie. Either way, you win.”
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Kraken » Mon May 16, 2016 12:38 am

"Use your words." :)

I read that helicopter parenting is out and submarine parenting is the new thing, so this should all resolve itself in another 15-20 years.

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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by Isgrimnur » Mon May 16, 2016 8:16 am

The better to torpedo their kids' lives later? ;)
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Re: College students and their safe space

Post by LawBeefaroni » Mon May 16, 2016 9:07 am

Jeff V wrote:
Holman wrote:A Scot could say a lot to Thatcher in six words...
Were those 6 words "Sod off you bloody fucking cunt"?
She was clearly working up to that but the sarcastic " Maggie" in a thick brogue no doubt tipped the Secret Service off before she got there.



I did a Poirot marathon with the kiddo this weekend and she rated each episode based on the number of murders and number of kisses. Also on how rotund Poirot was looking. I think she would get kicked off a college campus in short order.
" Hey OP, listen to my advice alright." -Tha General
"No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer." -Stigler's Law of Eponymy, discovered by Robert K. Merton

MYT

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