There could be an issue of academic freedom involved if such warnings were required of all instructors. Perhaps an instructor
We in academia have an opportunity and an obligation to serve as examples of how to engage in civil discourse in an increasingly polarized nation.
Microaggressions. Trigger warnings. Safe spaces. These are among the latest entries in the ever-expanding lexicon of campus censorship. There appears to be a new free speech crisis on campus, and it seems largely due to demands from a new generation of students to be protected from offensive ideas, emotional triggers, and feelings of being intellectually unsafe.
Last fall, when I first arrived at George Mason, I decided to major in economics. Halfway through the semester, I learned about the large amount of money GMU has accepted from Charles Koch and the power such money has given the Charles Koch Foundation at other universities.
The ideals of the modern academy too are fragile and vulnerable. We are witnessing their subordination to a political agenda even as supporters of the boycott movement try to mitigate the horror of their proposals by drawing a distinction between shunning Israeli academic institutions and discriminating against individual Israeli scholars.
The safe-space is a concept I agree with entirely in concept but less so in practice. I firmly believe that students at any university should be able to feel that they are a valued part of the student body and not be subjected to hate speech or excessive insensitivity.
Although the numbers and popularity of academic institutes is growing up, especially in the last decade, academic freedom is dwindling.
This article is the first of two posts examining Charles Koch's campus investments, as reported in Jane Mayer's Dark Money. The first post examines the history, long-term strategy, and true intent of the university "philanthropy" coordinated by Charles Koch.
As a new semester gets underway, the good news is that there are a number of ways for students to improve the climate for free speech at their colleges and universities.
A university president should have the advantage of reflecting knowledge, viewpoints and research grounded in long-term scientific investigation, vetted by institutional experts and carefully readied for distribution without the daily pressures of political leverage or media deadlines.
They're not widely used by professors or widely demanded by students.
Here's some advice for students who value intellectual safety over intellectual freedom: Check out the University of Illinois, which over the past 15 months has spent over two million dollars to keep the innocent young minds of its students safe from the "anti-Semitic" ideas and "uncivil" expression of Steven Salaita.
Missouri's anti-choice legislature, in consistently chipping away at reproductive rights, has taken a decidedly different approach in attacking reproductive health access. Now these same legislative extremists are playing politics with teaching and research at the University of Missouri.
Universities have a deep obligation to protect and preserve the freedom of expression. That is, most fundamentally, at the very core of what makes a university a university. This has not always been true.