Dear College Students: Universities Aren’t Daycare Centers

Safe spaces – the most recent in a series of concepts promoted by the radical left to keep college students from getting their little feelings hurt.  What exactly is a safe space?  Well, a quick Google search tells us that safe spaces are meant to be areas within an educational institution that do not tolerate perceived harassment, violence, or hurtful speech towards marginalized groups.  Instead, safe spaces are places where one can find tolerance and acceptance.  The irony is that these spaces are not really tolerant and accepting to everyone – only to those that it’s leaders agree with.  

The University of Missouri, which has been making national headlines after racial incidents sparked protests and even a hunger strike that eventually led to the resignation of two top administrators, has put the concept of a “safe space” on the map.  While protestors aligned with the group Concerned Student 1950 camped out in protest of the UM System President, Tim Wolfe, they surrounded the area with signs that stated “Safe space – no media”.  The problem with such demands is that the University of Missouri is a public university, and Carnahan Quad, where students were camping out, is a public area on the University’s campus.  When student journalist Tim Tai attempted to enter the so-called “safe space” in order to cover the story – and exercise the rights given to him by the First Amendment – protestors became angry and insisted he leave.  Mr. Tai simply told the protestors that he had a job to do and that the First Amendment protected both their right to be there and his.  One protestor threatened Mr. Tai and a Mizzou faculty member, Melissa Click, went as far as to say “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.”  Another faculty member, Janna Basler, told Mr. Tai, who was simply exercising his right as a journalist to document the situation, that he was “infringing on what they [the protestors] need right now, which is to be alone.”  Concerned Student 1950 responded to the incident by tweeting “it’s typically white media who don’t understand the importance of respecting black spaces”.  

The University of Missouri is a PUBLIC university and Carnahan Quad is a PUBLIC area.  There is no such thing as a “black space” or a “safe space” at a public area at a public university.  Anyone can use these spaces, including journalists, who are given the right to freedom of the press by the First Amendment.  Clearly, those at the University of Missouri who are defending the protestors and faculty members involved in this incident do not understand that the First Amendment protects both the protesters right to protest and the media’s right to cover the story.  

Attempting to limit freedom of speech, freedom to protest, and the freedom of the press is a very dangerous road for public universities to go down.  I’m no conspiracy theorist, but if we begin to limit students First Amendment rights at public universities, where will it end?  Because it won’t stop with safe spaces.  It’ll continue until students have no rights at all, even though they are attending a PUBLIC university.  

Safe spaces at public universities not only attempt to violate our constitutional rights, but they are incredibly harmful to students as well.  The concept of a safe space is yet another attempt by the radical left to treat college students – aka, ADULTS – as if they are helpless babies whose feelings must be protected at all costs.  There used to be a time where adults were expected to take insults in stride, brush themselves off, and move on.  Now, we can’t let anyone hurt anyone else’s feelings – even though these students are adults who are perfectly capable of defending themselves – so we have invented the absurd concept of a “safe space” where only opinions of “love” and “acceptance” are allowed to be voiced.  The problem with this concept is that it is not representative of the real world, and in fact, it is so far from it that it is completely comical.  In the real world, people will hurt your feelings.  You will get a job and your boss might reject a new idea you have.  You will be walking down the street and someone might hurt an insult at you.  You will be presenting an idea at a work meeting and – GASP! – someone might present an opinion that you do not agree with.  What are you going to do in these situations if you’ve been completely coddled your entire life and have never had to deal with opinions and viewpoints other than your own?  Are you going to start stomping your feet and throwing a tantrum, demanding that your safe space be protected?  Universities are not allowing students to learn how to handle a challenge or confrontation, discuss conflicting viewpoints civilly, and come out of the situation having possibly – GASP! – learned something.  Many people come to college from places such as small towns, private schools, inner cities – places where they may not have been around people different from themselves.  Being at college gives these people a change to meet people with different backgrounds and hear their experiences and viewpoints.  If public universities encourage everyone to simply retreat to “safe spaces” where their opinions will not be challenged, how is anyone ever going to truly learn? How is anyone going to be prepared for the real world?

The bottom line is that at public universities, there is no such thing as a “safe” space.  The world is a cruel place, and throughout your life you will have your feelings hurt and your viewpoints challenged.  You need to be prepared to deal with that in a rational manner.  College students: universities aren’t a daycare.  If you want a safe space, go to your parent’s basement.  We are adults here and it is time everyone starts acting like it.


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