We realized that we haven’t weighed in on the University of Chicago’s recent well-publicized stance on safe spaces on American college campuses. For those not familiar with so-called safe spaces, they’re in response to college students demanding protection from ideas and words they don’t necessarily like. And where do we at Ivy Coach stand on the issue of safe spaces? We imagine regular readers of our college admissions blog can make a very good educated guess. We are absolutely against them and consider them ridiculous.
Ivy Coach salutes the University of Chicago for criticizing so-called safe spaces. We believe in diversity of opinion and a respectful exchange of ideas. The University of Chicago has made clear the school does too.
An article in “The Atlantic” by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt offers a story that paints a picture of the turning tide on American college campuses: “Some recent campus actions border on the surreal. In April, at Brandeis University, the Asian American student association sought to raise awareness of microaggressions against Asians through an installation on the steps of an academic hall. The installation gave examples of microaggressions such as ‘Aren’t you supposed to be good at math?’ and ‘I’m colorblind! I don’t see race.’ But a backlash arose among other Asian American students, who felt that the display itself was a microaggression. The association removed the installation, and its president wrote an e-mail to the entire student body apologizing to anyone who was ‘triggered or hurt by the content of the micro aggressions.'”
American college campuses are supposed to be places of intellectual debate. They are supposed to be bastions of diversity and tolerance for viewpoints that differ from one’s own. They are supposed to be environments where the viewpoints of conservatives can be challenged by liberals and where the viewpoints of liberals can be challenged by conservatives. That is the express purpose, we would argue, of a college education in America. Hello!
We’d like to point out one term that we sometimes see in students’ college essays. It’s big pet peeve of ours. So what’s the term? “Like-minded.” Students quite often write about how they want to be around like-minded individuals. Nonsense. The objective of a great college education is to be surrounded by people of differing viewpoints — not just those who agree with you. And indeed when students write such a term, it serves as a red flag to admissions officers — whether they consciously realize it or not — that these students won’t come away with all they can from their college educations…so why admit them?
Do weigh in below. We’re curious to hear from you. Even if you disagree with us!