The University of Michigan held a group therapy session for students yesterday to coincide with Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos’ visit to campus.
In an announcement on the college’s official website, staff at the student life centre wrote:
It has come to our attention that an event titled, “Does Feminism Have a Free Speech Problem?” is taking place this evening on our campus. We recognize that the rhetoric of the speakers featured in this event is incredibly harmful to many members of our campus community. The Spectrum Center will be providing a supportive alternative space this evening and holding extended staffed hours until 9pm. There will be no program; our intent is to offer a relaxing, positive space for students who want to gather in community.
Staff also encouraged students who were affected by Yiannopoulos’ “incredibly harmful” appearance to reach out the university’s counselling and psychological services.
This is the second time students on U.S campuses have been offered psychological support following a Yiannopoulos talk. Students at Rutgers University were also sufficiently traumatised by the Breitbart Tech editor’s visit to hold a group therapy session. A number of students told Rutgers’ college newspaper, the Daily Targum, that Yiannopoulos’ speech had affected their mental health.
Yiannopoulos has said he “doesn’t care” about students’ feelings.
Appeals to mental health following the announcement of a conservative speaker have become commonplace on campus. An event at California State University Los Angeles (CSULA) featuring Breitbart editor-at-large Ben Shapiro was recently cancelled after students complained that the event posed a “threat to their lives” and would be “damaging to their mental health.”
Shapiro, like Yiannopoulos, was unsympathetic. “Balance at CSULA only runs one way,” Shapiro said. “This event obviously threatens the feelings of the precious snowflakes at the university. Tough.”