Against the objections of the American University faculty in Washington DC, student government leaders are demanding trigger warnings e added to all course syllabi to better make “academic spaces accessible to all students, especially those who have experienced trauma.”
In a YouTube address to rally support under the #LetUsLearn hashtag, student government president Devontae Torriente, presented his impassioned plea for sanity, and trigger warnings:
“Without trigger warnings, students who have endured trauma such as interpersonal violence, or experienced post traumatic stress disorder can be excluded from the classroom negatively impacting their mental health and education.”
Thus far, according to Inside Higher Education, the AU faculty have been remarkeably resulute in their rejection of the notion that these precious snowflakes require trigger warnings to protect them from trauma while receiving their $45,000 per year education.
“American University is committed to protecting and championing the right to freely communicate ideas — without censorship — and to study material as it is written, produced or stated, even material that some members of our community may find disturbing or that provokes uncomfortable feelings,” reads the senate email, quoting its resolution. “This freedom is an integral part of the learning experience and an obligation from which we cannot shrink.”
The faculty statement, which also won the endorsement of the university’s administration, continues, “As laws and individual sensitivities may seek to restrict, label, warn or exclude specific content, the academy must stand firm as a place that is open to diverse ideas and free expression. These are standards and principles that [American] will not compromise.”
Faculty Senate Chairman Todd Eisenstadt told Campus Reform “The world has a lot of triggers, there will be few warnings of these after students graduate, and we the faculty want students to be trained as citizens to grapple with potent, emotion-inducing issues to the best of their abilities. If we train them to that, we will be better serving them and their future.”
Wait. Did a college professor just imply that the notion that college students need to be protected from language, situations or subjects that could trigger an emotional or even traumatic reaction is not, necessarily, the best objective for a place of higher education designed to form young adults into future citizens?
Professor Eisenstadt, you better freshen up your resume, sir. That kind of thinking will not be tolerated.