Free Markets, Free People

What are we enabling in our colleges?

Jonathan Adler points to a NY Times piece by Judith Shulevitz about the “infantilizing” of college students, enabled, of course, by the administrations of various colleges and universities.  Shulevitz:

Safe spaces are an expression of the conviction, increasingly prevalent among college students, that their schools should keep them from being “bombarded” by discomfiting or distressing viewpoints. Think of the safe space as the live-action version of the better-known trigger warning, a notice put on top of a syllabus or an assigned reading to alert students to the presence of potentially disturbing material. . . . the notion that ticklish conversations must be scrubbed clean of controversy has a way of leaking out and spreading. Once you designate some spaces as safe, you imply that the rest are unsafe. It follows that they should be made safer. . . . while keeping college-level discussions “safe” may feel good to the hypersensitive, it’s bad for them and for everyone else. People ought to go to college to sharpen their wits and broaden their field of vision. Shield them from unfamiliar ideas, and they’ll never learn the discipline of seeing the world as other people see it. They’ll be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climates they have so carefully controlled. What will they do when they hear opinions they’ve learned to shrink from? If they want to change the world, how will they learn to persuade people to join them?

We’ve talked about this in the past – this escape from reality which, in many cases, is simply an extension of many students life to that point. That has been enabled most times by parents who see their role as protectors rather than teachers. And they hand that responsibility off to college administrations who seem eager to continue the escape from reality.

What that has begotten is, ironically, a huge dollop of intolerance. These children don’t feels safe unless everyone “conforms” to a comfortable set of norms and beliefs. Those norms and beliefs are never to be challenged or argued because somewhere along the line they were graced with a pseudo right to never be offended or “uncomfortable” about anything.

Wow … a completely different world than I grew up in.

Addler adds these comments that I think are both appropriate and pertinant:

Three comments:

1) It’s not entirely clear how prevalent this phenomenon is. The demand for insulating students from potentially upsetting ideas does, for the moment, appears to come from a vocal minority and does not appear to have widespread support. Yet isn’t that always how these sorts of things start? And isn’t it well established that a vocal and highly motivated minority interest group can have an outsized influence on institutional policies?

2) Efforts to insulate students from challenging and even potentially offensive ideas cuts them off from the world and compromises much of the value of a traditional “liberal” education. It’s like some want to turn universities into the secular equivalents of Ave Maria Town.

3) One of the benefits of having been right-of-center in college was that my political and philosophical views were constantly challenged. There was no “safe space” — and I was better for it. I often felt that I received a better education than many of my peers precisely because I was not able to hold unchallenged assumptions or adopt unquestioned premises.

Point number one is important. We know it goes on, you just have to read Tanya Cohen’s piece to understand that was incubated somewhere and if you bother looking her up, she has connected with a good number of people who agree with her screed on “hate speech”. That sort of intolerance to other ideas came from somewhere. But as Addler points out, she’s hardly a majority, but certainly a part of a vocal minority. Here’s the difference though – while we may point and laugh at her premise, in the society we prefer, she has every right to express her absurd opinion. However, if she were in charge, we’d be in jail … or worse.

Point two is what it is all about. How does one become educated when any “offensive ideas” are excluded from the learning. How does one compare and contrast? How does one learn to reason? Well, “one” doesn’t. They learn only what they’re comfortable with and of course, that will be whatever plays well to their biases and preconceptions. Then they step out into the real world and reality flattens them like a freight train. Naturally they’re totally unprepared for the event.

Finally, point three makes the case for ignoring this “vocal minority” and welcoming dissenting and potentially offensive and upsetting ideas on campus.  It goes back to the two questions I asked in the paragraph above.  The marketplace of ideas is a powerful place and it winnows away ideas and premises that can’t stand the light of true scrutiny.  But if you’re never exposed to it, you have no way to test your premise or challenge your assumptions.  And if that is the case at a college or university, you’re not being educated, you’re being indoctrinated.

~McQ

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121 Responses to What are we enabling in our colleges?

  • Well, if you’re on the left, and part of the “ruling class” elite, you don’t *want* college students learning to think for themselves.

  • The marketplace of ideas is a powerful place and it winnows away ideas and premises that can’t stand the light of true scrutiny.

    That’s a true fact. Which is why the Collective works SO hard to set off bombs in the “marketplace of ideas”. “Shut it down” is an admission that they can’t deal with the competition. With them, it’s always, “Shut UP, they explained”.

    And a lot of university administrators are the OPPOSITE of scholars. Being a scholar includes a component of being courageous…of having intellectual integrity that you defend fiercely. THAT is the last thing you see in a lot of the people running universities in the U.S. or England. They tend to break over like shotguns when confronted by SJW using crappy little Collectivist pressure tactics.

    • They don’t just break, and expose themselves at pathetic, cowardly weasels. They then pat themselves on the back for their supposed courage and moral superiority.

  • You seem to have missed the part that a couple dozen students at tops went to the “safe” area, while the lecture hall where the “offensive” ideas were discussed was packed. So the college did not stop or try to prevent the “offensive” ideas from being discussed. And given that you see the “safe area” as offensive, they allowed it to go on, meaning they did not stifle that idea either. That’s being open to all ideas.

    College students could choose which to attend – they were allowed to think for themselves – and most to choose to attend one, did NOT choose the “safe” area!

    • That last line should read “and most who choose to attend one did NOT choose the ‘safe’ area.”

    • Annnnddddd, of course,…

      you are bringing the “disingenuous” by pretending the specific is the general.

      You know…just as do we…that this is a MOVEMENT in higher education. It isn’t as limited as you want to pretend with this blinkered argument.

      And you know you brag about your ability to indoctrinate your unfortunate “students”. Poor Collectivist tool.

      • you are bringing the “disingenuous” by pretending the specific is the general.

        The left’s biggest failing in their utter inability (actually, their rejection) at INDUCTION

    • You seem to have entirely missed the point of the post, as usual diverting it to an insignificant part of the whole on which you can hang some sort of justification. Don’t you have a list of fallacies you like to look up when you are composing your sophistries?

      • The post is a BS right wing meme. Colleges have a host of diverse views, and after 9-11 the right pressured universities to dis-invite any one who might speak critically of the war. Meanwhile, there is a movement afoot to increase assessment and make public the performance of students to show that there are results. This has been the biggest change in higher education in decades. But hey, for the emotion-driven this offers the far right to play into their anti-intellectualism and fear that colleges are all *start spooky music* “indoctrinating” students, blah blah.” It all fits into the irrational right wing fear industry. And to be sure, a college educated person is less likely to fall for that kind of propaganda than one who is not.

        • Blah blah blah, self-justifying buzzword nonsense. Tell me Scotty, how many people here are college educated? Hmmm?

          • That’s a logical fallacy, DocD, nor does it address the point. So carry on, and I’ll keep working at educating students to think critically, develop their writing and oral presentation skills, learn to examine the world from different perspectives, and understand ethical implications of their choices. And in teaching political science I’m very proud of how students right and left learn to disagree (and we have active groups of each) without taking it personally and with mutual respect. That is what we should expect from adults, but alas, a lot of apparently educated people fall into playground trash talk when it comes to political issues. Sad for the country.

          • It is not a fallacy, you said college educated people are less likely to fall for your supposed propaganda. However, if there are many college educated people here then it belies your claim. Prof Erb’s trolling trick #21: Claim a logical fallacy when needed, fails again.

          • Yo, Erp…

            WHICH logical fallacy? I have a pretty good command of them, since I encounter them in argument professionally. I can’t think of any that fit. So name it.

          • Scotty, your students will be writing # race together” on my coffee cups

        • As we find those “diverse views” can get you canned.

          Erb’pie, “diverse views” is full spectrum, not SLIGHTLY less infantile snotball than yours.

        • “Colleges have a diverse host of views” reminds me of the bar the Blues Brothers played in ” we have both kinds of music here- country AND western!”

        • “after 9-11 the right pressured universities to dis-invite any one who might speak critically of the war.”

          Evidence?

          Show me who got dis-invited.

      • He comes by those naturally, I think. Really, they’re all he’s got. He must have to send them out for rebuilding, as worn as they would otherwise become.

    • If you were trying to formulate a rebuttal, you’ve failed miserably.

      Maybe if you read McQ’s last paragraph you would understand that while the majority of young adults crave a challenging heterodox environment, it is being routinely denied to them by a “vocal minority.”

      • Except that’s not what’s really happening. It is an idiotic right wing meme. You’ll see speakers far left, far right, religious, secular, etc., on campuses all over the country. If you want to confront a variety of potentially offensive ideas, your best bet is a college campus. If you want orthodoxy and avoidance of anything that might upset someone, that would be the media and politicians.

        • But you know that is a lie.

          The single LEAST represented demographic on college campie? Conservative men.

          I can refer you to MANY videos of campus speakers who are NOT Collectivists being shut down by delicate lil’ snowflakes. They can’t stand the exposition of ideas they don’t like.

    • You seem to have missed the point. Also the part that said ” The demand for insulating students from potentially upsetting ideas does, for the moment, appears to come from a vocal minority and does not appear to have widespread support. ” In addition, being open to all ideas kind of necessitates actually listening to those ideas.

      • Ok, definitely any effort to insulate students from upsetting ideas has very little support. I think most people would indeed say it’s the opposite of what college campuses should do!

  • Colleges (read that the College Administrations)don’t give a crap whether anyone learns anything/is exposed to anything. All these Administrators want is to keep the pipeline of Federal Student loan money flowing. After all, they have no ‘dog in the hunt.’ If you drop out, someone else will fill the slot and the loan money will keep flowing.
    In fact, given this situation, why would you want to create situations where views are challenged? In fact, you’d like a situation where there are no views, just folks filling seats and Federal money rolling in.

    Individuals will learn in college what they want to learn: if you have a curious mind you’ll seek out those areas where you can satisfy that curiosity.
    If you don’t, you won’t.

    And the first thing you learn or should learn is that the ‘College’ doesn’t care whether you learn.

    • I have been saying for years that the priorities in our institutions of learning are, in order;

      1. Administrators
      2. Teachers
      3. Students

  • I’m not sure I’ll get around to it (anyone else feel free to grab this), but there’s a solid blog in examining why we historically respected a University education so much, comparing that to what the University is currently putting out, and asking whether our respect is now entirely residual, rather than earned.

    In short, a University degree used to mean that you had been challenged, that regardless of your belief you’d been asked to defend it, that you’d been exposed to other beliefs in a serious manner (i.e., not merely dismissively cataloged out of obligation with sneering disdain, but actually grappled with), and that the product of your University education, the diploma, was proof that you’d been through the intellectual fires and come out the other end. The ideal was that even someone trained as an engineer or scientist had been asked to grapple with the hard ideas of politics and philosophy at some point. This is the environment our cultural respect for University educations was born in.

    Over time, as is the way of these things, the respect transferred away from the territory and onto the map, and today we’re still supposed to just respect a University education because respecting University educations is just what is Done. But we have to periodically re-evaluate the objects of our respect every so often and ask if the original reasons still apply. To which I think it is clear the only sensible answer in this case is NO! The idea that Universities are even talking about this sort of “safe space”, instead of actively pushing students out of them is an anathema to the spirit in which our respect for Universities was born.

    (When I went to University in 1996-2003, they had already progressed to the point where there were some pretty clear preferences as to which students they wanted to actively push out of their comfort zone, but at least they still believed that was something that should be done.)

    For myself, and I’m sure for many others, I’ve stopped respecting Universities entirely anymore. When we tear away the historical inertia of the word “University” and examine whether there’s much left to respect, there just isn’t anymore. All but the hardest of the hard sciences and perhaps the engineering courses have over the past 50-100 years pissed away every intellectual foundation and tradition that made them once worthy of respect, under cover of the word “University”. But we are just the leading edge, and unless Universities do something quickly to reverse this trend, eventually they will “spend” all the value our culture has in the word University. Then they will stand naked to the world as merely what they are, with no historical cultural currency left. They shall not enjoy the results.

    • As with everything that’s been made to be universal and egalitarian, standards have relaxed to accommodate the least common denominator: focus from education to job training, GI bill, co-education, government subsidization, Griggs vs. Duke, historical revisionism, etc. together have all but destroyed classical education. Outside STEM, the degrees are worthless.

      • You do make a good point here. College education is now mass education, not just elite education. That reduces admission standards and creates a new challenge. In the past one could assume all students were highly motivated and well prepared. Now there is a challenge to get students who lack reading/writing skills, or who have not been challenged, to recognize education is not about giving them what they want as consumers, but challenging them to expand their horizons and think critically. So there is skill development, remedial education (concepts and background not covered in high schools), and the traditional challenge. That also creates two tasks: 1) prepare for getting a job; and 2) the traditional role of education as life-enhancing (an example from the American Conservative: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/why-do-we-need-the-humanities-dante/

        That’s the new world of higher education – and given that ones’ earning power grows by $1 million on average with a college education, the demand is going to stay high. I think you under-estimate the desire college faculty have in reaffirming standards and inspiring students to think for themselves, and recognize that they are responsible for their own lives and what they accomplish.

        • “the desire college faculty have in reaffirming standards and inspiring students to think for themselves,”

          Having attended a number of colleges over the years, and attending one now, I think I can say, with some measure of authority, BS. Some do, most don’t.

          • Probably true with any profession. I’m lucky enough to work for a college with a teaching emphasis located in paradise. We draw and keep only the best teachers (research is necessary but not the most important). So I work with people very dedicated to their students. Alas, I suspected it’s not like this everywhere. Still, most teachers choose that profession because of a desire to teach and play a real role in the lives of young people. It’s far more satisfying than just making money. At one point before I got into grad school I was afraid I’d have to settle for my fallback of going to law school. *shudder*

          • You wouldn’t have finished law school, Erp. You haven’t got the chops.

            So, in a way, it’s really good that you found your niche up there at Moosesqeeze U.

            The nirvana of the Northeast woods.

          • “research is necessary…”

            So what research have you done?

        • College education is now mass education, not just elite education…. Now there is a challenge to get students who lack reading/writing skills, or who have not been challenged, to recognize education is not about giving them what they want as consumers, but challenging them to expand their horizons and think critically.

          A valid point. Perhaps we ought to reinstate some sort of higher level of credential. Theoretically some Universities are supposed to be better than others but I’m not sure this is anywhere near as effective as it could be, and the fact there’s no clear boundary means over time I would expect standards to naturally continue to drop everywhere.

          In the meantime, it does seem a useful way of refining my point is that to the extent that the Universities have for whatever reason greatly expanded their “customer base” and thus had to dilute critical aspects of the curriculum, our culture needs to reckon with this and not merely keep operating under the assumption that the same standards are in place. Whether this is a good thing or not I could argue either way (and at least for myself, when I say that, I truly mean that I could argue both ways), but it is true.

          • The biggest change now is the emphasis on assessment. Many faculty across the country resist it, but I find such resistance to be a remnant of the kind of thinking back when college education was an elite enterprise. If it is now “diluted,” then it needs to be assessed and the points of weakness need to be addressed. That is the big move lately from accrediting agencies, and it is becoming clear that universities will have to show how good they are at achieving clearly articulated goals. That is a good thing.

  • If you don’t recognize the fallacy, DocD, I think you need to go back and take a logic class.

    In any event, I still am struck by how it is totally ignored that most students went to the talk, there was no effort to control what was said, and that the case being pointed to actually shows the opposite of what is being asserted. But that’s the way you guys roll 😉

    • Take a minute, Erp, and explain why there are “free speech zones” on many campi.

      Then, you can illuminate how the idea of “speech codes” comports with the ideal of a free exchange of ideas.

      G’head. We’re all watching.

      • I’ve never encountered a “free speech zone” on any campus. To me all of every campus should be welcoming the freest speech possible.

        • We all note that you did not…inferentially CANNOT…answer two direct questions.

          Again.

          I always can count on you this way, Erp. You have never failed to fail.

          • Your questions make no sense. What is a speech code? If it’s a limit on free speech in the exchange of ideas, I oppose it completely. If it’s rules designed to stop abusive behavior when there absent a focus on ideas and intellectual exploration, that could be legit. Not sure what a “free speech zone” is. I believe every campus should be a free speech zone when it comes to the exploration of ideas. That’s why when I taught an honors course on “Islam and the West,” I brought a conservative pentecostal minister to talk about why he saw Islam as evil. The students asked questions, treated him very well (I think he thought he’d convinced them) and they now had exposure to ideas they otherwise would not have encountered.

          • Oh, and that minister was brought in to talk with the class after a conservative student requested it, saying that the book wasn’t giving the full picture. As a teacher, my job is to explore looking at different ideas, the exact opposite of indoctrination! When we talked about the Iraq War in foreign policy class, I made an argument to the class about the rationale for the war that would probably have convinced any listener that I was a raging neo-con. But the point is for them to understand the reason why rational, intelligent people disagree, and to understand opinions on their own terms, without spin or bias.

          • This is the fallacy I call “The Ed Asner Dodge”.

            It comes from Asner’s response to someone who asked him if he was a Communist.

            His response: “What’s a Communist?”

            Your responses: “I’ve never seen a Free Speech Zone” and “I dunno what a ‘speech code is'”.

            So, we can conclude you are too stupid and ill-informed (and lack the intellectual integrity to inquire) to make any intelligent comment on this thread…

            OR…

            you know what these are, and are just pretending to be stupid and ill-informed.

          • “Your questions make no sense. What is a speech code?”

            Oh for God’s sake! Get your head out of your ass and read a newspaper, news magazine, etc. Your ignorance of the world is pitiful.

          • Notice that Erb didn’t bring in fundamentalist Imam for a discussion.

        • “I’ve never encountered a “free speech zone”…”

          Ergo, they don’t exist. Speaking of logical fallacies.

        • The ACLU has taken an interest, not exactly a one-off then is it.

          There are many many articles dealing with it Scott.
          having not ever encountered anything of that nature in your reading of current events?
          Seriously, we’re to believe that?

          • OH, yea. This whole thing is a “new world” to ol’ Scotty. Which is why he was qualified to come here and throw around aspersions about “right wing memes”.

            These are as well-grounded as any he’s made. He has the comprehension of a goose.

  • I’ll keep working at educating students to think critically, develop their writing and oral presentation skills, learn to examine the world from different perspectives, and understand ethical implications of their choices. And in teaching political science I’m very proud of how students right and left learn to disagree (and we have active groups of each) without taking it personally and with mutual respect.

    BUT…

    It is an idiotic right wing meme.

    AND…

    The post is a BS right wing meme.

    So. ANOTHER exercise in self-parody. Like the sun coming up in the East.

    • You prove my point. You seem to think that stating the truth is somehow bad. There are idiotic right wing and left wing memes that should be outted and discredited immediately. Reasonable people on both sides of the aisle recognize that.

      • OK. Good. MORE self-parody to excuse the prior self-parody! EXCELLENT…!!!

        (“Truth”? I thought you had trouble with the concept? I mean, all of us KNOW you do, but your whole “value system” I thought sorta precluded you from any embrace of the concept.)

        BTW, since we have you here, how’d that Bibi election turn out for you, prediction-wise?

        How ’bout that “success” in Yemen? Heckuva job, Barry!

      • The problem, Scott, is that you rarely — if ever — actually state truth. In fact, you appear to be completely incapable of even grasping what the truth or reality even are, no matter how often (and how forcefully) they’re explained to you. You just stumble endlessly on, blithering in your ignorance, your idiocy adamantine.

        • Well that’s cute. Just name calling? I only state the truth in public communication like this. That’s why I am willing to use my own name, unlike a few other people who here lie, engage in personal attacks, make absurd claims, and don’t have to take responsibility for what they write. I’m willing to because I take credit for my words. You can call names behind your alias though if that works for you. And that’s the truth 😉

          • You can’t even read, Erp. There wasn’t a name anywhere in there.

            He was just telling the truth. Just like your claim made several times here, except he was…you know…being truthful.

  • Rags, law school is easy compared to grad school – and I’ve been told that by a number who attended both. Also far more people go to law school than to Ph.D. programs. To me becoming a lawyer would have been taking the easy way out not having achieved my goals. But I don’t give up so I probably would have built from there.

  • Since you refer so often (stupidly) to “word salads”, speak to this one by Barracula…”[Bibi’s comments] erode the message of democracy”.

    Is that an “idiotic meme”?

  • Or Rags, you could explain what you mean with your question. No one is preventing you from doing so. But I do not know what you mean by ‘free speech zone.’ I’m starting to think you don’t either.

    But while I can’t find the data that supports your point in that 70 page booklet you linked me too, it does appear that there was 70,000 compared to about 45,000 Ph.Ds to law degrees. So the multiple is about 1.5 (not exactly multiples). But it does look like more Ph.D.s were awarded. I had limited my search to top notch schools (U. of Minnesota was in the top ten of political science at the time) with full support. I’d have had no trouble getting into a law school.

    • http://www.bing.com/search?q=free+speech+zone&pc=MOZI&form=MOZCON

      I’m always happy to assist the stupid and ill-informed.

      AND to expose a lying Collectivist tool.

      Again. Some more. Another time…

      • Why are you incapable of asking with your own words? Sigh. So a free speech zone is a place where activists can protest and speak their mind? Here’s what your search site says:

        “Free speech zones (also known as First Amendment zones, free speech cages, and protest zones) are areas set aside in public places for political activists to exercise their right of free speech in the United States. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging… the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” The existence of free speech zones is based on U.S. court decisions stipulating that the government may regulate the time, place, and manner—but not content—of expression. A free speech zone is more restrictive than an exclusion zone.[citation needed]”

        Uh, OK. I suppose that’s fine, sounds like a legal kind of set up. What’s your point about that? Ask a direct question, explain why you’re asking it. Be clear.

        • http://www.thefire.org/infographic-free-speech-zones-on-americas-campuses-2/

          You poor, lying, Collectivist tool.

          You only read ONE reference? Jaaaazus. How incurious and intellectually dishonest ARE you.

          http://www.thefire.org/infographic-free-speech-zones-on-americas-campuses-2/

          This thread…especially your part…has been about the existence of a MOVEMENT limiting speech and the exchange of ideas. You’ve…falsely…said that this is a “idiotic rightwing meme”. THAT is a lie, and one I now have exposed. We now know you are too stupid to know anything about this topic.

          Thanks for the demonstration! Again…

        • You poor, lying, Collectivist tool.

          You only read ONE reference? Jaaaazus. How incurious and intellectually dishonest ARE you.

          http://www.thefire.org/infographic-free-speech-zones-on-americas-campuses-2/

          This thread…especially your part…has been about the existence of a MOVEMENT limiting speech and the exchange of ideas. You’ve…falsely…said that this is a “idiotic rightwing meme”. THAT is a lie, and one I now have exposed. We now know you are too stupid to know anything about this topic.

          Thanks for the demonstration! Again…

          • I’m not going to read any more “references” you post unless you can make a specific case. Use your own words, give the data – you don’t have to cite it, just explain your argument. If you cannot do that, then you’ve not made any kind of argument and there is no need for me to respond. Make a clear argument, and I’ll respond. The choice is yours.

          • Geez, Erp. I was just trying to dispel your GOB-SMACKING ignorance of the whole rational thread of the root article, which you irrationally and IGNORANTLY assailed as a “idiotic right wing meme”.

            Without the least concept of what you were talking about.

            As usual.

            I asked you two direct, probing questions. You…as usual…cannot manage an answer.

            This led to my exposition of you as being the ill-informed, name-calling, intellectual midget we have so often seen before.

            “…constant as the Northern Star”.

          • “Use your own words, give the data – you don’t have to cite it, just explain your argument.”

            Of course. It’s so much easier when you don’t have to confront facts. Just blah blah blah. One would think that a political “scientist” would be able to find his own facts to support an argument. Facts can be your friends, unless your argument is crap.

    • I’d have had no trouble getting into a law school.

      Big talk. But my point you wouldn’t have finished. Reading is required. And you’ve failed here.

    • ” I had limited my search …”

      Of course you did. Research is a skill you do not possess, in spite of having that Ph.D.

  • I note that once again Erp has hijacked a thread, turning the subject to him. As much as he complains about our ad hominem attacks on him, he invariably turns every comment into a remark about him, his accomplishments, his job, his stirling qualities, etc. Eventually we get disgusted and he gets his wish; the subject changes to him.

    I couldn’t decide whether he was ignorant or dishonest, so I flipped a coin. It landed on its edge, so I conclude he is both.

    • Just goes to show, he is so toxic even a coin associated with him cannot give a definite answer.

    • I couldn’t do that if you guys didn’t play along, timactual! Of course, I also had a point: in the case being discussed, the college did NOT silence the “offensive” talk, and it was very well attended. The existence of a “safe” zone isn’t necessarily a bad thing – should the university have silenced those who wanted to have that alternative, or was it better to give students a choice. This substantive point directly relating to the article wasn’t answered because it essentially shows that the case put forward here actually shows a university supporting the inclusion of speech some would consider offensive. That point stands unrefuted. But hey, when people decide to play the personal attack game, they’ve essentially said, “Scott, please, hijack this thread, we get off on calling you names!”

      • The existence of a “safe” zone isn’t necessarily a bad thing

        Sure it is, in the context of this thread, and for at least TWO reasons…

        1. it caters to a vocal, kvetching minority who make such demands, and implies they have a point, and

        2. it isn’t remotely necessary. They ALWAYS have a “safe zone”. Nobody compels them to be anywhere on campus when the exposition of ideas would “threaten” them.

        • So you say a college should not allow people the freedom to create a safe zone, because it “caters to a vocal minority” and “isn’t necessary.” First, allowing a minority to have a say isn’t a bad thing. Whether or not they “have a point” is a matter of opinion. Universities should not decide that, but allow students to choose. The students overwhelmingly choose to go to the lecture. Whether or not it’s necessary is a matter of opinion and irrelevant anyway. The talk itself wasn’t necessary. Both were examples of people exercising their freedom without the university trying to impose on either.

          • So you say a college should not allow people the freedom to create a safe zone, because it “caters to a vocal minority” and “isn’t necessary.”

            No, stupid. Nothing of the kind.

            What I DID say is that…

            1. it is a mistake in the university environment to cater to a minority who implicitly or expressly assert that opposing ideas to their own dogma “threatens” them, and,

            2. give them the legitimacy of establishing a “safe zone” when that is totally superfluous, since they can take shelter from “threatening ideas” any number of places, AND they are free to gather there and shed bitter tears of outrage.

            I suppose you would allow that in your classroom. (Rolls eyes)

          • 1. Allowing them to have a safe zone simply is allowing them the freedom to express their view. To deny that would be to have the university explicitly impose its position on the students and not allow choice. But the point was that universities shouldn’t do that. You are caught in a contradiction. Gotcha! You want the university to be the PC police, only enforcing what YOU believe to be politically correct.

            2. Irrelevant. They can gather where they want, including this safe zone. There is no harm done. Again, you would have the university determine what opinions should be seen as legitimate or not. Something you’d hate universities to do if they decided to impose leftist ideas, but you think they should if they are ideas you agree with.

            Thank you for wearing your hypocrisy on your sleeve. This was too easy!

          • To deny that would be to have the university explicitly impose its position on the students and not allow choice. But the point was that universities shouldn’t do that. You are caught in a contradiction. Gotcha!

            No again, stupid. The position of the UNIVERSity SHOULD be that the ideal of ideas is UNIVERSAL in its very fabric. The idea that some delicate snowflakes would be “threatened” by ideas is anathema to that concept. The value of being OPEN to ideas IS something the university MUST impose to be what it claims to be.

            Mine is the consistent…and informed…position. Yours is just stupid.

            Nobody is denying anybody a “say”. Nobody is denying anybody their “freedom”. They ARE…or the SHOULD BE…pointing out that they are WRONG, just as it is WRONG to limit speech to zones or codes.

            See now, moron…????

          • Ok, definitely any effort to insulate students from upsetting ideas has very little support. I think most people would indeed say it’s the opposite of what college campuses should do!
            —Scott Erp

            You used the word “hypocrite”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

            Ya moron…

          • Rags, allowing both the lecture and the safe place is allowing full voicing of different views. To stifle one would be for the university to act as PC police. You can’t get out of this one, I gotcha! By saying “no” to a space place, you are denying people the right to express their ideas. By saying the university should say they are *wrong* you’re saying the university should declare itself the judge of different opinions and not allow people to decide on their own. You can’t get out of this, you’re stuck. But I know you’ll call names, put on some bravado and pretend it didn’t happen. But I know you know 😉

          • Yeah, Erp. You are demonstrated a delusional, ignorant, and lying Collectivist.

            But you cannot allow it to sink in. I can do this all night and into tomorrow and you can deny it all, and it won’t change the verity of what I’ve shown.

            Will it?

          • By saying “no” to a space place, you are denying people the right to express their ideas.

            Um…no, stupid. No more than the New York Times “denies” me the right to express myself by NOT giving me space when I demand it.

            I still have that right. Don’t I, stupid? You said it yourself…

            Ok, definitely any effort to insulate students from upsetting ideas has very little support. I think most people would indeed say it’s the opposite of what college campuses should do!
            —Scott Erp

            So, you stick your “gotcha” where you let your ObamaCock rest.

            If anybody here thinks you “got me” they can support you.

      • It’s not a ‘safe zone’ – they’re talking about making the majority of the campus ‘safe’ from speech that might offend.

        that means that free speech can be restricted to a narrow zone of the campus and occur only in what, by definition are therefore ‘unsafe’ zones.

        • Oh, no, Alan. It is MORE than that.

          It is about the Collectivist assault on concepts. The UNIVERSITY is a place where ideas are supposed to be exchanged.

          But these lil’ darlings are saying that they need a special enclave to be “safe from ideas that threaten”. They demand that the UNIVERSITY be the OPPOSITE of what it IS.

          Now, this is in the face of the existence of MANY venues that accord them what they demand. But that does not suffice. And, if their demands are rebuffed, they claim they’ve been “denied rights to expression”.

          This is patent bullshit. All they have been denied is a special status…a status that is an affront to the ideal of the institution they have voluntarily joined.

          This is HOW the Collective assaults institutions. Think of people who apply to a Jesuit university, and then demand things that are expressly opposite to Jesuit values. Are they constrained to apply to a Jesuit institution? No! They have MANY choices.

          Take a case Erp has not had to wit to consider; there is a “safe zone” provided (against all concepts of a “university”) to the special snowflakes of the Collective. I break in on their little coven and demand to speak. Now what? IF I do, are they denied any “right”? If someone prevents me from offending the delicate, shell-like ears of the precious ones, am I not denied my rights to expression? You see, it is like mirrors reflecting mirrors.

          Whereas, the ideal of the UNIVERSITY is that EVERYBODY meet in the middle, and there ARE no special reserves where one can go.

          Otherwise, they are in the wrong place. There are collectives where they can hear only the sweet, sweet murmur of Big Brother.

    • Lol – when people show they have no desire for a real discussion, I just have some fun. You guys take it so seriously, it’s hilarious.

      • You’re just being deliberately obtuse here Scott.

        Being on a campus with an open free speech policy you are surely well aware of WHY that policy was originally created, and why it was necessary to recently re-affirm the meaning and intent of the policy.

        I suggest if you are unclear on the matter you wander down to your very own Office of Human Resources and ask them to explain it to you.

        This is a case where you must be aware, as a member of the faculty it would be a requirement for you to understand it, and you would by necessity understand why it was a policy. Being a faculty member in fact it might be necessary for you to defend the policy at some point, n’est-ce pas?

        So, no more of the childish “whatever do you mean” theatrics.
        Grow up.

        And you wonder why we feel the need to verbally knock the snot out of you all the time.

        • Plus, note that yet again he has admitted that he gains pleasure from irritating people. That’s sick. It’s the psychology of a teenage troll.

          • I dunno. That’s kinda degrading to teenage trolls, innit? I mean, some of them are WAY better read.

          • The irony of your post – and the posts of people seem to need to call me names – seems lost on you. I find that hilarious. Don’t you see that you are describing yourself?

          • No, you idiot, I’m not describing myself because I don’t come to your blog to irritate you, whereas you basically admitted you come here and have fun irritating us.

            I also get no pleasure whatsoever insulting you – it’s more like changing a dirty diaper. An unpleasant chore, but the shit builds up if it’s not done.

            Yet again you completely misread, fail to get the point, use a false equivalence, and just generally behave like someone with no intelligence or class. I say again – coming here to irritate people is sick. It’s part of your sickness that you can’t see it.

            You really get a charge out of this particular thread, don’t you? You narcissistic twit.

        • I think there’s a psycho-sexual component at work here with ol’ Scotty. I think there’s part of him that likes getting made a punk.

          I’d be surprised if he doesn’t give the ol’ ObamaCock a rigorous workout tonight. One way or another. Maybe all which-a-ways…

        • That’s the thing – you can’t knock the snot out of me. I find it odd that some of you get so bothered – I don’t get bothered. To the issue: I doubt very many people know that policy you linked me to – the system has a myriad of policies and we certainly aren’t required to learn them all. In general, I know that I believe in a free exchange of ideas, hopefully in an adult way (mutual respect with an effort to understand the other). I think it’s psychologically interesting that blogs devolve into name calling – my theory is that people create images of the “other” – they imagine how the other is – and then attack that image in the belief that they have an accurate perspective. I see it on leftist blogs too – conservatives getting attack when they delve in just as I do here. That’s why I don’t take it personally, it goes with the territory when you comment in a partisan blog. Also the media on the left and right paint caricatured images of liberal or conservative. My friends run across the political spectrum and we can debate over beer and have fun. In this medium you don’t see or know the other person except for the words, so it makes it much easier to imagine the other in a very negative way.

          • right, ‘other’ and psychobabble Scott.
            that’s what it’s all about.
            Rings very hollow after you’ve admitted several times you enjoy stirring people up

            “you guys take it so seriously”

            Correct – because people died to give us this right and strive to preserve it. Freedom of speech is not to be taken lightly.
            many of the readers and commenters here served their country on the premise this is but ONE of the rights they were defending, they possibly watched compatriots DIE in the process.
            You make a joke about it, but don’t expect them to think it’s funny or amusing.

          • You don’t get bothered because you are obtuse.

          • “That’s the thing- you can’t knock the snot out of me”

            —— one day that cease will cease to be true. Do not complain.

      • You should be embarrassed to play this game on this subject.
        It makes you look to be a bigger numbnutz than normal in an area where you really ought to know better.

        If there was ever a mask that almost worked and made you seem reasonable to some, you’ve removed it for the reader.

  • Here’s some more info.

    Stop pretending – the one area where you SHOULD have knowledge without it being explained to you because it really IS part of your job and you pretend you don’t know what free speech zones are.

    • It does not touch my job one iota. It never has been an issue for me in any of my classes or activities. I’ve never heard of this policy before – and I suspect most of my colleagues haven’t. It’s never been an issue that’s affected me in any way. My class room is always very free speech, and my academic freedom protects that. The policies you cite sound like it’s just trying to control protests, which seems legit. But no one complains their speech is being limited!

      • Well – try reading the link I gave you then numbnutz, because it’s the policy at every University of Maine campus.
        You might be surprised your colleagues DO know, try asking them instead of assuming they’re as ignorant of your own school policies as you are.

        No one DOES complain at a UofM school, because by and large you have free speech on campus with few restrictions, generally those acknowledged by all of us here, that is, you can’t yell fire in a crowded auditorium, you can’t run up and down the halls screaming obscenities or otherwise disturbing the normal function of the campus.
        but you are not restricted to some small square footage, to be scheduled in advance, where you may talk to others about the Constitution, for example.

        The mere presence of such a policy, that is, one that ensures the campus IS open, instructs you logically that the School Board of Trustees took the action in response to some action that was almost certainly contrary to the action they took in order to re-affirm their belief in the necessity of Free Speech on the University of Maine campus.

        As opposed to for example the University of Southern Mississippi, which requires students to hold their demonstrations in one designated ‘Speakers’ Corner’ unless they register the demonstration at least one month in advance of the event.

        Yes, the policies we’re speaking about are precisely to ‘control’ but not necessarily protest. Again, the absence of such in YOUR particular environment does not mean the absence of such through out the country.

        You are, as I said, being deliberately stupid for the sake of provocation.

        • Lol! Most people don’t go through the myriad of offical policy statements. But hey, go ahead and call me “stupid.” I just shake my head and smile. Buona Notte!

          • Well, that’s the consensus, innit…???

            And not JUST stooooooOOOOOOOoooopid. Ignorant and a liar.

            Everybody knows, you know.

  • And really – you cite Russia Today (RT)? Not exactly credible.

    But the policy you cite is pretty vanilla. I didn’t know they had it written down, but it’s what I would expect:

    “There shall be no restrictions placed on the fundamental rights to free speech and assembly except those necessary to protect the rights of others and to preserve the order necessary for the University to function as an institution of higher learning. The entire campus of the University of Maine (except corridors and inside areas and facilities not available on a scheduled basis for reasons of public safety) is open to any form of expression by students, faculty, staff, and their invited guests, the only limitations being that normal University functions may not be disturbed, the free flow of traffic may not be disturbed, and the rules of public safety may not be contravened. Individuals and groups wishing to use outdoor areas and facilities shall notify the Director of Public Safety at least three days in advance of the nature, the time, and the place of the proposed activity. (University of Maine, Office of the President, 1996)”

    That’s sort of just boilerplate.

    • Ah, you’re going to go that route.
      Fine.
      We’re not talking about YOUR school Scott. Have you not figured that out yet?
      If we were, do you seriously think we would not already have jammed that thumb in your eye?

      Of course it’s boilerplate, it’s what it OUGHT to say at every school.

      Very well, Scott RT makes you unhappy –
      How about something more in your nature –
      How about Huffington Post?

      And are you going to tell me that Russia Today couldn’t manage to get the info on the restrictions at the University of Southern Mississippi correct?
      Or did they just make it up.

    • and “The entire campus of the University of Maine (except corridors and inside areas and facilities not available on a scheduled basis for reasons of public safety) is open to any form of expression by students, faculty, staff, and their invited guests, the only limitations being that normal University functions may not be disturbed, the free flow of traffic may not be disturbed, and the rules of public safety may not be contravened.”

      is certainly a policy YOU ought to know you clown. YOU are a member of the faculty according to your own claims.

      You’re really impressing only yourself at this point, certainly no one reading this will be impressed with your admitted ignorance of your own policies as a faculty member.

      • No real reason for me to learn all the official policies at the system level. You’re being silly. Or you’re a bureaucrat who thinks everyone should learn the hundreds of pages of policies in the “manual.” *eyes rolling*

        • Yeh. You’d make a great lawyer.

          You couldn’t pass the professional responsibility exam, ya moron.

          Too much “boilerplate”.

        • one page – on free speech. yes yes, hundreds of pages.

          Such a burden to you.

          Fine, admit you’re ignorant of the school policies Scott, it’s not a problem for me, I can’t be held responsible for violating it.

          You, on the other hand.

  • Put it this way Alan. I was Faculty President a few years ago and helped rewrite the policies and procedures manual for our university campus. I know it better than most. But the system policies you cite – nobody really pays attention to or knows those. They are boilerplate and only become relevant if an issue arises (and none has around the policy you bring up). People at this campus often don’t even know the details of our policies and procedures – why should they? Unless an issue arises, most are irrelevant. Even fewer know the system level policies. Your view of what we “should” know is out of touch.

    • Self-parody, thy name is “Erp”.

      Whadda self-professed moron. “Out of touch”, indeed!

    • Wow
      how would you know a situation has arisen unless you understood the policy in the first place.

      “why should they?”
      “I was Faculty President a few years ago and helped rewrite the policies and procedures manual for our university campus.”

      The administration of each campus is responsible for establishing appropriate procedures and regulations for the implementation of this policy and for the protection of the rights of individuals through adequate review of alleged violations of the policy.”

      You are doing absolutely nothing to get yourself out of the hole you dug.
      By all means, continue to violate the first rule of holes and keep digging.

      You never cease to amaze.

    • You might as well review this as well then, since it all is a great unknown to you by your own admission.

      I’d say, you having rewritten the policies manual and all, that you failed at your job if you didn’t address this fundamental school policy, in fact, that you did not even know of it.

      Keep talking clown.

    • Nobody pays attention the free speech policies.

      Uh -huh.
      How did that go at Christmas time this last year in the U of M system?

      Why….it went this way.

      I guess there were no official state wide memos reminding employees and faculty about the policy eh?
      Nah, that would never happen, because I’m sure U of M loves this sort of publicity when people accuse them of free speech violations and all owing to idiots who don’t know the policies.

    • I detect a lofty, arrogant pride that you don’t know these policies Scott.
      That you consider them to be the for out of touch people, and that organizations establish policies for entertainment value alone and no one expects them to be known by members of the organization.
      Clearly since one does not expect them to be known, one also does not expect them to be adhered to!

      How quaint and out of touch the people in your human resources department must be to keep these policies current!

      “There is no question that we stand for freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and therefore all faith traditions are welcome here. We welcome displays of religious symbols in public spaces and residence hall rooms. We don’t advocate one religion over another; we stand for the expression of all religions.”

      Read More: University of Maine Officials Respond to Misunderstood Email | http://q1065.fm/university-of-maine-officials-respond-to-christmas-decoration-email/?trackback=tsmclip

      Perhaps that news story answers your asinine question “why should they”.

      • Policies made by the system are put on books, and unless one needs to consult them, they really don’t get noticed by people going through their day to day jobs. If you don’t understand that, or think that somehow strange, that’s your problem. It certainly isn’t something I’m worried or ashamed about. In any event, none of that denies the main points I made about this issue.

        • A-flucking-mazing…

          Policies are things “put on books”.

          And you really needn’t concern yourself with them in your day-to-day job…unless you need to consult them for some unknown reason.

          Erp has found perhaps the only occupation in which he could survive, with his obdurate ignorance and stupidity. And I really even have to question that, if his employer knew his attitudes.

        • “In any event, none of that denies the main points I made about this issue.”

          The main points you made were made by a man who claims he is unaware of the policies of free speech on the very campus he is employed on.

          The main points you made were made by a faculty member at a university that, within the last 3 months had a free speech issue for which they issued a reaffirmation statement to the college community, that you managed to ignore, or be completely unaware of by your own admission.

          The main points you made were made by a “faculty President” who “rewrote the policies manuals” without ever once determining if there was a free speech policy in place, what that policy was, and whether or not there needed to be anything else said. Generally re-affirmation since it’s probably not within your rewrite powers to alter the policy established by the board of trustees.

          The main points you made were made by a college professor who loves free speechifying but is blissfully unaware of the free speech zone issues at large and heretofore reputable and respected colleges and universities around the United States.

          The main points you made were made by a man who values his own words so much he couldn’t be bothered to spend the five minutes it would take to do a web search and scan relevant articles for further review before writing more of his own words and hand waving away the evidence of people who did bother to read on the subject, and who do bother to keep track of the current events and are concerned about issues of free speech on college campuses.

          Given the restatement of fact above, why would anyone who is seriously interested or concerned or even has a slightly fact based opinion on the subject bother with any of your points?
          Given that, why would anyone bother to rebut them?
          If your professed general views are in line with actual exercise free speech why do they need to be denied?

          All in all, if you weren’t an adult this would otherwise be arguing politics with a bright 6 year old.

        • I don’t think it’s strange Scott.
          You’re just another college educated puffed up self inflated ignorant liberal asshat.

  • I saw 112 comments on here and I just *knew* sh-stsin Erb commented

    • Partly because he requires dogged repetition. The boy is dense. It’s a perverse point of pride for him.