“Safe spaces” on campus are immunising students against reality. Safe spaces are social spaces that are restricted with respect to social relations, language, political views and behavior. The point of a safe space is to provide a space that is safe for people to freely communicate and express ideas.
A small but vocal minority of student activists are arguing for universities to be turned into safe spaces, describing it as an attempt to immunise their academic life from the intellectual challenge of debating conflicting views.
Sadly, this will breed over programmed children who no longer experience the risks and challenges that breed maturity.
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, to alert students to the presence of potentially disturbing material.
Already, a safe-space mentality has begun infiltrating classrooms, making both professors and students loath to say anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.
Students worry whether acts of speech or pieces of writing may put them in emotional peril.
In reality, safe spaces provide a student backlash against hearing words and ideas that oppose their own, citing emotional “trauma”. The sense of entitlement the safe space cultivates directly stunts students’ intellectual growth.
Opponents argue that it limits free speech and creates an echo chamber of concurring opinions.
People need 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.
Students will be unprepared for the social and intellectual headwinds that will hit them as soon as they step off the campuses whose climate they have so carefully controlled.
What will the poor little darlings do when they hear opinions they’ve learned to shrink from?