In a world of political correctness, the college campus “safe space” is ground zero. We repeatedly read about suspensions for using the wrong gender pronoun, fines for serving tacos on campus, and bans on Christian and political conservative student groups, but the University of Chicago recently said “no more.”
In a strange twist of the headlines, the administration declared its campus a no safe space zone in the name of academic freedom.
Fingers crossed that Chicago’s bold move allows others to point out the absurdity of “safe spaces” and defend academic freedom. But how do you do so without seeming insensitive?
Good thing it’s Tuesday, B² day.
Here is this week’s likely media question and the B² (block and bridge) that sets the narrative straight:
Q: “Aren’t safe spaces and trigger warnings necessary to prevent discrimination on college campuses?”
B²: “Not at all. If we truly want to reduce discrimination, the best way to do so is to allow students to openly dialog and challenge those thoughts, not silence people and close off the conversation. That’s why we need to…<insert talking point>.”
Wherever you take the conversation next, highlight the fact that “safe spaces” are anything but. In fact, it is safer to allow the free flow of ideas on campus in order to truly understand other viewpoints and how best to engage. It’s a big, bad world out there, and learning to adjust and have a conversation about different ideas will only make the transition easier and society better. Do it for the kids.