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