THE ISSUE: The University of Chicago’s Dean of Students, Jay Ellison, wrote a letter to members of the incoming class of 2020. In it, he warned them that the school’s commitment to academic freedom means it does not support trigger warnings. Here, editorial board members share their thoughts on the letter. You can find the other viewpoint here.
While Jay Ellison’s statement doesn’t outright ban trigger warnings, it goes a long way in condemning the practice. He goes on to say the school does “not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.”
Would it have hurt Ellison to mention that he’s registered in the university’s Safe Space Ally Network for LGBTQ students?
He also said the school will not cancel controversial speakers. In 2015, protestors disrupted UC’s Alumni Awards, prompting the event’s cancellation.