A student at Edinburgh University in Scotland was threatened with removal from a council meeting for violating the ‘safe space’ rules after raising her arms in the air.
After being accused of letting down disabled students by failing to respond to an open letter, Imogen Wilson, the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Edinburgh University, raised her arms in frustration and was thus subjected to a vote as to whether she should remain in the meeting.
“At that point, I raised my arms in disagreement, as we had contacted the writers of the letter and tried hard to organise a meeting. It was for that reason that a safe space complaint was made,” Wilson told HuffPost UK.
Section 6c of the Edinburgh Student Union’s safe space policy says that council members must always be respectful and considerate.
The policy states: “Refraining from hand gestures which denote disagreement or in any other way indicating disagreement with a point or points being made. Disagreements should only be evident through the normal course of debate.”
When someone is accused of violating the ‘safe space’ policy, a vote must determine whether they should be removed from the room. Fortunately for Wilson, 18 people voted to remove Wilson, while 33 voted for her to remain.
Interestingly, a petition against the safe space policy has been set up by Edinburgh students, which had over 1,000 signatures at the time of this story’s publication. Charlie Peters, who set up the petition, wrote in an open letter that the policy was “unacceptable” and claimed that Adam Smith, a Scottish champion of freedom of speech, “would be ashamed” of the policy.