Campus Free Speech

Shakespeare, Safe Spaces, and Segregation: Absurd College Student Demands of 2016

"Pay attention."


Antonio Guillem / Dreamstime

Yale University students want to de-colonize the English department, Oberlin College students want below-average grades abolished, and students at the University of Arizona think each and every identity group deserves its own special safe space. 

These were just some of the most outrageous demands of activist students in 2016. For the full list, read my recent column at The Daily Beast. 

As I note in the column, the unifying theme of these demands is emotional safety. Students think the university's job is to keep them comfortable at all times: 

The modern college student thinks he or she (or xe) is uniquely oppressed, mistreated, and unsafe. They think a university education is too hostile, triggering, and difficult. They're paying a great deal of money for this experience, and therefore it should be easy, pleasant, and re-affirming, in their view. 

It was once the job of college professors to liberate young people from their delusions about the world in order to better prepare them to succeed in it. But 2016 might be the year the tables turned. Professors and administrators are increasingly caving to their students' demands out of fear for their own job security. 

In other words, there's little reason to think we've reached peak campus insanity. 

Read the full thing here

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  1. I’m afraid that like peak derp, peak campus insanity will never be reached.

    1. Yep. Just like the student protests of the 60s, or like any social movement really, this phenomenon will last forever.

      1. I wasn’t around in the 60’s – was it as derpy as today?

    2. “Derp endures. As well ask men what they think of stone. Derp was always here. Before Man was, Derp waited for Him, the ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner. That is the way it was and always will be. That way, and not some other way.”

      1. From Cormac McCarthy’s classic Derp Meridian.

        1. you need to take out the commas and the quotation marks

          *my favorite book

          1. I’ll concede on the commas, but the quotes are there to insinuate that I, in fact, did not come up with that piece of masterfully written prose delivered by the character Judge Derpden.

          2. It may be my favorite too, but I do not know how much of that is because I was so proud of myself for finishing it. It took effort.

            1. A legion of horribles, hundreds in number, half naked or clad in costumes attic or biblical or wardrobed out of a fevered dream with the skins of animals and silk finery and pieces of uniform still tracked with the blood of prior owners, coats of slain dragoons, frogged and braided cavalry jackets, one in a stovepipe hat and one with an umbrella and one in white stockings and a bloodstained wedding veil and some in headgear or cranefeathers or rawhide helmets that bore the horns of bull or buffalo and one in a pigeontailed coat worn backwards and otherwise naked and one in the armor of a Spanish conquistador, the breastplate and pauldrons deeply dented with old blows of mace or sabre done in another country by men whose very bones were dust and many with their braids spliced up with the hair of other beasts until they trailed upon the ground and their horses’ ears and tails worked with bits of brightly colored cloth and one whose horse’s whole head was painted crimson red and all the horsemen’s faces gaudy and grotesque with daubings like a company of mounted clowns, death hilarious, all howling in a barbarous tongue and riding down upon them like a horde from a hell more horrible yet than the brimstone land of Christian reckoning, screeching and yammering and clothed in smoke like those vaporous beings in regions beyond right knowing where the eye wanders and the lip jerks and drools.”

              shorter = Indians

              1. Can someone please tell me why this diarrhea of the pen is considered good writing? FFS, good writing should be CLEAR writing. Not to mention that after reading a whole McCormack piece, it is a miracle people don’t automatically shoot themselves. It would be like that horrible Shyamalan movie “The Happening”.

                1. Can someone please tell me why this diarrhea of the pen is considered good writing?

                  Have you ever read Marquez or Borges?

                  Style for its own sake is mostly terrible writing. Style which becomes indistinguishable from *effect* is high-art.

                  Most of the book is pretty dry, clear, factual. “This happened. That happened.”

                  But McCarthy invented a specific, unique prose-style for Blood Meridian which was unlike anything else he’d written. Its sort of borrowed/modified from the bible (*the above run-on description of details is straight up bible-stuff) … and can consequently be a little weird in its intensity-level even when describing banal events.

                  Its not for everyone.

              2. Wow, a 246 word sentence. That’s gotta be some kind of record.

                Hello, Guinness?

                1. Not even close.

                  the long line game goes back 100+ years. Victor Hugo had an 836 worder in Les Miserable. Proust did 900. Joyce’s “molly speech” in Ulysses goes on for 36 pages.

                  GG. Marquez’ ‘Autumn of the Patriarch‘ is ‘six paragraphs’… running a few hundred pages. the last paragraph is one sentence

          3. I “read” it in the form of an audiobook listen to it on a cross-country drive. It worked beautifully.

        2. “You can’t derp what’s comin’. That’s vanity.”

          /Yes I know that scene wasn’t in the book
          //Fuck you
          ///Ellis is awesome

          1. Well, all the time you spend trying to get back what’s been derped from ya, there’s more going out the door. After a while, you just have to try to put a tourniquet on it.

    3. The student debt bubble will do a whole lot to bring this thing crashing down to the earth.

      1. Until the debt is forgiven, by the next version of Sanders.

    4. peak derp, peak campus insanity

      You repeat yourself.

  2. Just when you thought you couldn’t have any less use for English majors…

    1. Fewer use !

  3. Holy Shit Robbie!

    A Facebook group that doubled as a safe space for women of color at the Claremont Colleges was anything but safe:

    How many people were maimed by the facebook posts? How many people got cancer from the electrons streaming from their monitor screens?

    1. So then suddenly mental violence isn’t violence at all anymore? All of the sudden online digs don’t hurt as much as stones and fists?

      1. Looks like SOMEBODY needs to check his privilege!

      2. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.
        Especially when I can just go read something else.

        1. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can send me into a hysterical crying fit accompanied by stamping of feet and demands for attention.

    2. He’s just using the SJW definition of “safe”, which emphasizes the hypocrisy.

    3. Fuck dude, why did no one tell me electrons cause cancer. Fuck fuck fuck, they’re all over me!

    4. Are ‘microagressions’ real, or are they imagined inside the delicate synapses of these idiots? Shouldn’t they be characterized as ‘alleged’ instead of giving them legitimacy by conceding their existence?

  4. Microaggressions are subtle, bothersome digs based upon the slighted person’s race, gender, sexuality, disability status, orientation, age, or even their size. They are often subconscious?the micro-aggressor doesn’t realize he or she is saying something untoward?and they fall well under the category of protected First Amendment speech on public university campuses.

    Even their size? EVEN THEIR SIZE? It’s nice to know Soave relegates fat shaming to an afterthought.

    1. relegates fat shaming to an afterthought.

      That’s not the metric of “size” Robby’s referring to.

        1. *widens gaze*

          Lengthening mine…

  5. Read my recent column at The Daily Beast.

    But i come to complain? I can’t do that over *there*

    1. I couldn’t help myself, my OCD compelled me to do it. You dick.

    2. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to be testing – our visual acuity, or a person’s willingness to voluntarily engage in very boring exercises.

      *reminds me of a test an art teacher did to see how many people could ‘instinctively’ (sans reference) get the proportions of the human face correct in a variety of different perspectives. most people could regularly get ‘eyes/nose/mouth’ in relation to one another, but in relation to ‘head-frame/ears’ it was a persistent mess.

    3. 86. Last one completely threw me.

      1. 72. And I feel my answers were better than the correct one. I’m writing a strongly worded letter in a non-proportional font.

    4. I guess I’m not destined to be a typography nerd. Lost interest pretty quickly. I learned a new word today, though.

    5. 91.
      Why did I just do that.

    6. 20 because I stopped giving a shit after the first couple of items. Still was getting points for doing nothing.

    7. 79, and I hate you for posting this.

    8. Got several 100’s but lost interest about half-way through. I am a font nerd, though, so thanks for this.

    9. 85 and i still can’t believe I spent 10 minutes on this.

  6. To be fair, there is a point about how much it costs. If I’m shoveling that much to a college then they should provide servants to feed me grapes while I lay on a Roman couch.

      1. “Taste Not The Forbidden Link”

  7. I am seeing the University of the future: No glass in the windows, brush growing up where lawns used to be, the only residents rats and pigeons. I can also see scenes reminiscent of Dagny Taggart visiting the abandoned factory where John Galt worked on his motor; she seems a ragged, emaciated man attempting to drag a plow through a small plot of earth by hand.

    Private companies should start operating training programs for people in their respective industries.

  8. It was once the job of college professors to liberate young people from their delusions about the world in order to better prepare them to succeed in it.

    [citation needed]

    1. I have it on good authority that the college professors of today liberate young people from a world of devoid of sexy twerking.

  9. She just found out that many people consider re-tweets to be endorsements. Poor girl.

  10. You people vastly overestimate the relevance of these whiners.

    1. What do you mean, “you people”?

    2. The campus SJWs of today become the civil bureaucrats and national politicians of tomorrow.

      They might be a minor nuisance now, confined largely to the campus hothouse, but in about 10-20 years they’ll go from making the lives of their fellow students and college administrators miserable to making the entire country miserable.

    3. They get their bias confirmed, then we get our bias confirmed. It’s a functional ecology.

  11. /runs fingers through hair.

  12. Her boyfriend just called her babe.

    1. Probably patted her ass when he said it too.

    2. At least he didn’t call her “bae”.


  13. I would probably care a lot less if I couldn’t foresee being robbed to provide for a generation of worthless shitbags.

  14. She just watched an entire episode of 2 Broke Girls.

    1. Impossible. No one can endure 30 minutes of that without changing the channel.

      1. Volume off and eyes locked on Kat Dennings.

      2. More like 5 minutes. That might be the worst sitcom I have even seen.

  15. Read the full thing here.

    A full recitation of all applicable qualifiers, politically correct terminology and needless acceptance of false premises, click here.

  16. She was enjoying a nice stroll through the quad when she noticed a chalk drawing on the sidewalk beneath her. As she bent down to get a closer look at the drawing she quickly paused, because she knew what the drawing was of, and yet she could not believe she was actually seeing it. She took two deep breaths, bent down even closer, and her initial thought was confirmed: the drawing read “Trump 2016.”

  17. So sometimes you gotta ask who goes there.

  18. Well if they want to “decolonize” then they should just shut Yale down.

    After all it was started at a colony…..

    1. Oh, come on. All you have to do is undo 500 years of history. How hard could that be? And what could possibly go wrong?

  19. As an example of what qualifies as a microaggression in the eyes of these students, they spelled the word “history” with an “x”?as in “hxstory”?because the actual word is too patriarchal (“his” + “story”).

    It’s so cute — and tedious — that every “activist” picks up on this fucking his-story idiocy. It’s like they think they’re the first to discover poop jokes.

    1. Too bad there isn’t someplace they could learn the origin of words, since it isn’t “his-story” at all:
      1350-1400; Middle English historie < Latin historia < Greek histor?a learning or knowing by inquiry, history; derivative of h?st?r one who knows or sees

      1. You have got to remember that these are the same people who think that ‘human’ means that whites aren’t actually people because the word ‘hue’ denotes that men are supposed to have color.

  20. Solution: ignore them.

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