Presentation Title

Trigger Warning!: Restricting Speech on College Campuses May be Hazardous to Students

Faculty Mentor

Kurt Meyer, Jodi Titus

Start Date

18-11-2017 11:30 AM

End Date

18-11-2017 11:45 AM

Location

15-1807

Session

Social Science 2

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

education

Abstract

A shifting economic and social climate has led to a detrimental practice of coddling American college students, which infringes on the democratic ideal of free speech and undermines the integrity of academic freedom—a principle that is paramount to maintaining a healthy academic environment in California public institutions of higher education. Rising demand for accommodations, in response to increasingly varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds on campuses, has led to the spreading prevalence of problematic interpretations of microaggressions, mandated trigger warnings and free speech zones. This protective academic environment that now permeates higher education deprives students of the intellectual rigor necessary to develop critical thinking skills essential for success in academic, political, and social pursuits. Through extensive consultation with case law, legal publications, surveys, and constitutional law experts, this presentation will provide insights on why current academic initiatives are incapable of preserving effective discourse in the growingly sensitive academic environment of today. Colleges must take an active role in safeguarding intellectual merit by enabling constructive, challenging, and even controversial speech on campus. The reliance on trigger warnings to promote student well-being has instead created a culture inclined to suppress opposing viewpoints negatively received by a majority. By confining particular forms of speech to “free speech zones,” colleges diminish the academic freedom meant to offer students autonomy over the quality and direction of their education. Revision of practices intended to protect free speech on campuses will allow colleges to better fulfill the needs of their students while maintaining intellectual authenticity, rigor, and equitability.

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Nov 18th, 11:30 AM Nov 18th, 11:45 AM

Trigger Warning!: Restricting Speech on College Campuses May be Hazardous to Students

15-1807

A shifting economic and social climate has led to a detrimental practice of coddling American college students, which infringes on the democratic ideal of free speech and undermines the integrity of academic freedom—a principle that is paramount to maintaining a healthy academic environment in California public institutions of higher education. Rising demand for accommodations, in response to increasingly varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds on campuses, has led to the spreading prevalence of problematic interpretations of microaggressions, mandated trigger warnings and free speech zones. This protective academic environment that now permeates higher education deprives students of the intellectual rigor necessary to develop critical thinking skills essential for success in academic, political, and social pursuits. Through extensive consultation with case law, legal publications, surveys, and constitutional law experts, this presentation will provide insights on why current academic initiatives are incapable of preserving effective discourse in the growingly sensitive academic environment of today. Colleges must take an active role in safeguarding intellectual merit by enabling constructive, challenging, and even controversial speech on campus. The reliance on trigger warnings to promote student well-being has instead created a culture inclined to suppress opposing viewpoints negatively received by a majority. By confining particular forms of speech to “free speech zones,” colleges diminish the academic freedom meant to offer students autonomy over the quality and direction of their education. Revision of practices intended to protect free speech on campuses will allow colleges to better fulfill the needs of their students while maintaining intellectual authenticity, rigor, and equitability.