The University of Chicago has warned incoming freshmen not to expect a culture of ‘safe spaces’ and ‘trigger warnings’ during their time at university.
In a letter, the school warns students that the university is characterised by its “commitment to freedom of expression,” and therefore the university “does not support trigger warnings,” “does not cancel speakers because their topics might prove controversial,” and “does not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where students can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.”
The letter is written by the University’s Dean of Students, Dr. John Ellison, who also cites one of the university’s most distinguished professor’s recounting of Chicago University’s commitment to academic freedom, resulting in a history of debate and even scandal.
The warning is likely to come as a shock to incoming social justice warriors, who regularly attempt to shut down events, speeches, and discussion across American college campuses, citing their need for ‘safe spaces’ from dangerous ideas.
Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos’s Dangerous Faggot Tour has clashed with this campus culture, leading to numerous controversies across American college campuses.
The full letter can be read below:
Welcome and congratulations on your acceptance to the college at the University of Chicago. Earning a place in our community of scholars is no small achievement and we are delighted that you selected Chicago to continue your intellectual journey.
Once here you will discover that one of the University of Chicago’s defining characteristics is our commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression. Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.
Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.
Fostering the free exchange of ideas is a University priority – building a campus that welcomes people of all backgrounds. Diversity of opinion is a fundamental strength of our community. The members of our community must have the freedom to espouse and explore a wide range of ideas.
I am enclosing a short paragraph by Dean John W. Boyer, the Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor in History and Dean of the College, which provides a helpful primer. This monograph, entitled ‘Academic Freedom and the Modern University: The Experience of The University of Chicago,’ recounts the history of debate, and even scandal, resulting from our history of academic freedom.
Again, welcome to the University of Chicago. See you in September!
John (Jay) Ellison, PhD
Dean of Students in the College