College PC

American University Joins Thin Ranks of Colleges Defending Free Speech

Faculty senate says "that shielding students from controversial material will deter them from becoming critical thinkers and responsible citizens."

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The faculty senate at American University in Washington, D.C., has issued a resolution that really stands up for free expression. That such a proclamation is worthy of note tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the state of campus discourse and intellectual freedom these days.

The resolution is adamantly opposed to trigger warnings as a means of censoring appropriate materials or giving students an out from confronting college-level material. Snippets:

As laws and individual sensitivities may seek to restrict, label, warn, or exclude specific content, the academy must stand firm as a place that is open to diverse ideas and free expression. These are standards and principles that American University will not compromise.

Faculty may advise students before exposing them to controversial readings and other materials that are part of their curricula. However, the Faculty Senate does not endorse offering "trigger warnings" or otherwise labeling controversial material in such a way that students construe it as an option to "opt out" of engaging with texts or concepts, or otherwise not participating in intellectual inquiries….

…the Faculty Senate affirms that shielding students from controversial material will deter them from becoming critical thinkers and responsible citizens. Helping them learn to process and evaluate such material fulfills one of the most important responsibilities of higher education.

That sounds about right, doesn't it?

This action comes on the heels of well-received piece in The Atlantic by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff arguing that "coddling" students with trigger warnings actually makes them less able to deal with problems; President Obama denouncing campus restrictions on speech; and schools such as the University of Chicago and University of New Hampshire pushing back against speech police.

Maybe the censorship fever is starting to break, or at least cool off a bit.

Related: "Trigger Warning: College Students Are Human Veal."

Watch "Trigger Warnings, Campus Speech, and the Right to Not Be Offended":

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30 responses to “American University Joins Thin Ranks of Colleges Defending Free Speech

  1. All fucking niggers must fucking hang. Thank God for the sickle cell, eh?

    /Animal Mother

  2. Faculty senate says “that shielding students from controversial material will deter them from becoming critical thinkers and responsible citizens.”

    That certainly explains the current crop of college educated professionals who arrest kids for bringing clocks to school and feeling up young girls over an ibuprofen.

  3. Anyone want to place bets on how long it takes for some AU student group to file a Title IX complaint against the professors who signed onto the letter?

  4. I blame the baby boomers.

    As their demographic moved into positions of responsibilities, everything they touched started turning to shit.

    One of the worst things The Greatest Generation did was raise The Worst Generation.

    1. Fine and dandy, but who is responsible for the Greatest Generation? The Great Depression and FDR. If only there’d been more responsible government in the first place, instead of those running dog lackeys Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, things would be just spiffy right now.

      1. The Greatest Generation did the amazing things they did despite FDR, not because of him.

        And communism fell under their watch.

        I’m just sayin’.

        1. 3/4 of the soldiers of the Greatest Generation were drafted to fight their war. 3/4 of the soldiers of the Baby Boomer generation volunteered to fight theirs.

          1. “3/4 of the soldiers of the Baby Boomer generation volunteered to fight theirs.”

            You’re talking about Vietnam?

      2. Generational collectivism is as fucking stupid as regional collectivism. “Generations” aren’t entities, they are arbitrary age cohorts. They mean next to nothing.

        1. your just jealous that your not a millennial.

          1. Fuck! I am!

        2. While the commanding heights of academia may seem so fucked up that something more than simple generational shit-headedness to blame, I am saying that I think it was the biggest contributing factor.

          They’re also to blame for disco.

    2. I blame the baby boomers.

      IDK in this case. Not to get too TEAM! about the issue, bu it’s not like these universities were bastions of religious and fiscal conservatism before, during, or after the greatest generation.

      You could also presume that broadening education standards and the requisite hiring coincided with the population boom.

    3. err… before, during, or after the boom generation.

    4. I blame Leif Erickson for discovering North America (for Europeans) in the first place.

      Anyway, I think that the “Greatest generation” (barf) set most of the wheels in motion for the shit turning. New Deal and Great Society weren’t Boomer creations.

  5. Meh. What else would you expect from cisshitlords who have named their institution (TRIGGERR WARNING!!!1!11!!1) “American” University?

    1. The whole thing is a micro aggression. It’s really tragic.

      1. So more like this: ((trigger warning) (trigger warning))American (((trigger warning)(trigger warning))(trigger warning))) University?

        1. Odd numbers of parens really are tragic.

  6. Trigger Warning: After college you will enter the real world. Good luck sissies.

    1. Uh, no, they make the real world more like college. Look around, haven’t you noticed anything different lately?

  7. I don’t think I really have to say it do I?

    1. No. But would.

  8. that shielding students from controversial material will deter them from becoming critical thinkers and responsible citizens.

    The entire point of free education is to prevent students from becoming critical thinkers and responsible citizens. Government wants dependent parrots and 90% of humans long for that arrangement.

    The modern left hates America’s past slavery because it was capitalistic. If it had been a Single-Master system, they would not object.

  9. I’m an AU student and this is not in any way what the message is intended to convey.

    While the faculty senate did specific that they simply do not endorse trigger warnings as an “opt-out” for students who may be offended or troubled by controversial content. Which is to say, trigger warnings are fine, but being triggered isn’t an excuse to avoid the topic.

    For instance, my Spanish class on narco culture and representations of violence in Mexico and Colombia had a trigger warning on the syllabus indicating that we would discuss serious issues and imagery that would include both physical and sexual violence, prostitution, exploitation and other challenging themes and that students should feel free to discuss these topics in advance with the professor and to seek campus resources where appropriate. It also made clear that, like, that’s what the class is so be warned.

  10. I am triggered by the concept of a trigger warning. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll just be over here watching Fort Apache and cleaning my collection of antique firearms while the younger generation turns everything to shit.

    1. Traditionally, the younger generation is supposed to shock the older generation. That’s the way it’s always been. But what seems different to me, is that previously ( speaking from personal experience) is the youth are supposed to do it by being more liberal than the previous generation. The irony now is that this newest generation is shocking us with their remarkable conservatism.

  11. Anyone else notice the marks on the young lady’s neck? I wonder what sort of SJW vampire got to her?

    1. A brain-sucking vampire?

      A creepy co-worker of mine once described his girlfriend to me thusly: “If that woman didn’t have a pussy she would be totally useless. That’s all she’s got.”

      I never met the girl but he must have been dating Bailey Loverin.

  12. Students want to be heard. Their opinion matters and their want everyone to count with it. They want the officials to listen to their voice and what they demand. We live in the free country and the free of choice is also here. Sometimes they choose paper services online to get assistance with their essays and course works because they don’t want to study in the manner like they are everything to do but their demands and requirements for better education aren’t counted.

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