RIP Cornell President Elizabeth Garrett, Fierce Opponent of Trigger Warnings

She was 52.



Cornell University President Elizabeth Garrett passed away Sunday from complications due to colon cancer. She was 52.

Garrett was a staunch defender of free speech on campus. In October, she generated headlines when she proclaimed her total opposition to mandatory trigger warnings.

"With respect to trigger warnings, first and foremost I am an absolute defender of academic freedom," said Garrett, according to The Cornell Daily Sun.

Garrett also told students that the answer to speech that made them uncomfortable was more speech:

"A university is about the fullest and freest expression of ideas and arguments. There isn't any idea that ought not to be tested and questioned. Because that's how we get closer to the truth. We're about reason, rationality, debate. So if you disagree with someone, the answer isn't to shut them down."

In an age of constant calls for censorship in response to controversial forms of expression, too few college presidents are willing to defend free speech as a necessary component of a liberal education. It's sad to lose one who did.

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  1. Meanwhile, Michael Moore again forgets the open-the-bag part of consuming another Doritos ‘serving.’

    1. Did he choke on it? I hadn’t heard.

      1. He’s saying Moore is so fat Moore doesn’t even bother opening the bag of chips before eating it.

      2. He’s saying Moore is so fat Moore doesn’t even bother opening the bag of chips before eating it.

        1. You can say that again.

  2. She did not ingest sufficient cannabis oil.

  3. Eternal nothingness graced with a magical blip of bliss.

  4. Much worthier of posthumous sympathy than Nancy Reagan.

    1. No kidding. The heel-licking I’ve been reading today is nauseating

  5. He’s so fat I took a picture of him last Christmas and it’s still printing!

    1. He’s so fat, he has smaller fat socialists orbiting him!

      1. So fat, not even Dora can explore him.

      2. Let’s hope him and Christie don’t get too close to each other, they could become a twin gravitational vortex and throw the solar system into chaos!

    2. Meant for the Moore subthread above.

      1. He’s so fat, he broke his leg and gravy came out!

        1. He’s so fat he goes swimming and the whales sing “We are the World!”

          1. Exercise routine is breathing nose only ten reps, two sets.

            Then Doritos time again.

          2. He’s so fat he goes to the movies and sits next to everyone.

    3. He’s so fat he bends light.

  6. I didn’t know who this person was, but it’s not Donald Trump, so I am happy she’s at the top of the list of articles at the moment even if it is for sad reasons.

    1. Don’t worry, there will be another Trump article any minute now. They never stop, they only take a very brief pause. I for one am ready to welcome our new Trump overlord so we can talk about something else for a change.

    2. Did you have to mention [name]?

      1. Do you even have to ask?


          1. That is CONMENTS to you.

          2. I’m still recovering from yesterday’s full-auto Trumping.

      2. You forgot to mention cannabis… oh wait there it is

    3. I think Gawker has more Trump stories per minute than Reason if that’s any consolation.

      1. It would be if I read Gawker.

  7. I really hate it when I see someone dying that young. We could probably cure cancer if stopped spending trillions on war and got the FDA mostly out of the way.

    1. A prog acquaintance of mine is convinced that Big Pharma (or whatever) has a cure for cancer already but refuse to let it be known because the cancer-curing industry is so lucrative.

      1. Why do you think big pharma spends so much on “Drug Free America” ?

        1. That’s one thing. Saying they are keeping a secret cancer cure in a bunker somewhere is another.

          1. The cancer cure is probably sitting next to the aerated 200mpg carburetor that guy who Exxon killed invented, and next to that is the Roswell disc, and then an Ark.

            1. I hear they have bigfoot down there also.

          2. The thing is they stored them next to the pills that turn water into gasoline. The labels have ling since faded and fallen off. They don’t know which is which.

            1. And they don’t dare run a sample of either one through a gas chromatography mass spectrometer?

      2. Horseshit. This is just another of the stupid things that progs believe, like GMOs are harmful and AGW is going to kill us all tomorrow. And they make fun of dumb rednecks, go figure.

      3. I think that was a Family Guy episode.

        1. It wouldn’t surprise me if they believed it.

      4. Big Pharma also suppressed the 200 MPG carburetor.

        1. Fuck, I just knew it in my bones that this was true. Now that someone on the internet has confirmed my suspicions, I feel verified.

          1. Cold fusion has been working for 50 years now and they have a unit that will power your entire home forever. But the electric companies shut that down. I read that on the intertoobz.

            1. Dammit. My brain can’t handle all this, I need my meds.

            2. But the electric companies shut that down. I read that on the intertoobz.

              The only institutions with the power to “shut that down” in the energy sector are the NRC and the DOE. Yet rarely do I hear any calls to abolish or curtail either outside of libertarian circles.

              1. Did you know that the Koch bros invented one way streets to force us to buy more gas for our cars!

                1. #BernieThoughts

              2. Electric companies HATE this.

          2. John Wayne is also a fag.

          3. I watched part of a truly entertaining “its not aliens, but its aliens” show making the case that we had a secret treaty with aliens, who were giving our governments anti-gravity technology.

            I think that’s probably about as likely as a real cure for cancer being kept secret.

      5. Because dead people pay bills? Seriously, it’s just another symptom of the “money is evil” disease.

        1. Why does it matter, the Koch bros are gonna destroy the planet for profit anyway, on purpose.

          1. I’d really hate it if they did it by accident.

        2. People look at the handful of big pharmaceutical companies and think they’re gouging people and making obscene profits because they intentionally cartelized.

          The reality that they make narrow margins, a lot of which gets spent on R&D, and the only reason they are so big is because nobody else can get FDA approval, is lost on them.

          But then again people whine about “medical bankruptcy”. As though there are better reasons to go into bankruptcy than preserving your own life and health.

          1. It only takes 1-2 decades to get a drug or new medical device approved for use. The problem with that is that with the speed of today’s technological increases, a drug that is approved 10 years from now will be like 1800s technology to us by that time. Something has to change because people are going to be dying waiting on life saving drugs and technology that already exist.

          2. The reality that they make narrow margins,

            I don’t regard a 20% margin as a narrow margin.


          3. The unmentioned elephant – inexplicably under the radar – in discussions of American healthcare costs vis-a-vis the world is America’s, ahem, unique malpractice industry. Huge offbook cost on every pill, procedure, etc.

            Mention emulating Britain’s NHS for America and all the Bernie-lovers come out to the yard. Mention emulating the English Rule for Britain’s tort system (including medical malpractice), and all the Bernie-lovers run from the yard.

            Democrats only want to emulate half of Europe’s healthcare setup.

      6. Didn’t Kramer say that once on Seinfeld

        1. Once…

      7. A friend of mine threw a link to that conspiracy theory up on Facebook. He is also the one who puts up the “I Fucking Love Science” links.

      8. What is this cancer curing industry? It still seems like, in the long run, most people die from it or from complications from cancer.

        I mean if they had a pill that you took daily and it became chronic, somewhat like HIV is becoming (slowly), I could understand.

  8. She must have felt incredibly lonely in her profession.

    1. It’s pretty sad that one that fought against the derp is gone so soon.

      And no one will notice, yet a vile wretch like cankles is still wasting oxygen.

      Justice, I worry about you.

  9. Sucks – I like this lady. A graduate of an Ivy League should be capable of reaching logical conclusions and engaging in debate on a range of topics. Trigger warnings and safe spaces are simply cop-outs to avoid developing those adult skills. They devalue the individuals and the institutions.

  10. RIP, that’s kind of young to die.

  11. Indeed.

  12. RIP. So young to die. And we lose a defender of free speech.

  13. “With respect to trigger warnings, first and foremost I am an absolute defender of academic freedom,”


  14. Garrett also told students that the answer to speech that made them uncomfortable was more speech.

    For instance, when someone tells you “People have the right to refuse service for whatever reason”, the speech-answer to that on campus should be “You Fascist! You racist dirt bag! Yo should die a miserable death being tied up on an anthill under the scorching sun!”

    What? Did you really think these college academics meant reasonable and well thought-out speech when they were talking about answering speech with “more speech”? Please.,

    Call me a cynic, but I’ll kick your butt if you do because I am right when I say the sincerity of academics is not to be trusted, even of dead ones from colon cancer.

    1. I’m a cynic as well but this lady was on the right side of the equation…you are barking up the wrong tree here bro, wanna kick my ass, let’s exchange numbers…

  15. Hopefully Cornell will replace her with someone more willing to unite differences.

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