Friday, August 26, 2016

UC to Students: you're here to be challenged, not to be pampered

U. of C. tells incoming freshmen it does not support 'trigger warnings' or 'safe spaces' - Chicago Tribune:
University of Chicago Dean of Students John Ellison told incoming freshmen in a letter what they should expect on campus. "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," the letter said.
The idea of a "University" is to introduce thinking individuals to the thoughts which are new to them.   It's not to teach them how think; if they couldn't think for themselves, they shouldn't have qualified for admission.

It's not to teach them what to think: they could read books, which they may have selected because the ideas are familiar to them.   Inside their comfort zone, so to speak.

A university education is a waste of time and resources for people who need to be taught how or what to think.   Better that they go back home and marry the high-school JV quarterback or cheerleader and make beautiful babies, who hopefully will grow to be more inquisitive than their second-string parents.

The goal of a higher education is to encourage young minds to grow, to expand beyond what their basic education has taught them: the mechanics, the ABC's, math, geography, Civics ... the basics which give them the tools to evaluate new experiences, new thoughts, new opinions, new world views.

Students are deprived of a "higher education" when they are not exposed to ideas they have not heard, and viewpoints they have not considered.

At the College level, students are all about exploring, but usually it's their physical universe which has expanded.  Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n Roll.  You go gurl!    Learn how to drink and politely find a garden or a toilet to barf instead of inundating your host's Hawaiian shirt with gastric effluvium.

And too often they learn nothing from the academic courses which they (or more likely, their parents) have been saving for decades to teach them.

UC has made the bold step to actually challenge their incoming students, from the first day.
Not a challenge to their social identity; UC chooses to challenge their intellectual curiosity.

And students who don't HAVE any intellectual curiosity may soon understand that the hollowed halls of ivy aren't really where they belong.  Perhaps they're not actively in search of intellectual broadening; in which case they can go home to State U. and get their sheepskin without having to actually think.

They, the University, and the world are better off not wasting their time and ours with the pursuit of casual dalliance.

This is NOT Your Father's University!


Anonymous said...

A university without social justice will not long stand in today's world of progressive academia.

Mark said...

It is about time someone stood up to the bullying of the left.

Windy Wilson said...

John Ellison could be this generation's S.I. Hayakawa, a University Dean with a backbone and a willingness to cut the crap and stand up for what a University is there for.