Bubble-like environments disrupt academic freedom


I have a place to come to: Should schools allow safe spaces and trigger warnings?



Back in 1115 AD, when the University of Bologna started to develop as the full force academic institution that it has been for the past 10 centuries, an agreement, the Authentica Habita, was established.

This contract is the origin of what in modern times is known as academic freedom, the right to teach and inquire about everything, even topics that may be problematic to some.

Academia has come a long way since it first engaged with the notion that accurate knowledge comes above any personal interest, bias, or discomfort that the faculty or the student body might have.

However, we have reached a point where we now chose what to listen to and what not to purely based on our preferences instead of searching for facts that may alter what we currently believe or, gasp, prove us wrong or make us feel uncomfortable.

The purpose of universities is falling apart because of how easily offended our society has become.

It is ludicrous to expect a bubble-like environment from an institution that is meant to make us, as students, think further than we have before and question the world we live in and the world that came before us.

We need to be exposed to change and to different perspectives to properly assess our judgment and become the literate people we are trying to be.

Trigger warnings and safe spaces are a direct threat to the academic freedom that has been an imperative part of our educational system.

We are trivializing thousands of years of knowledge recompilation for the sole purpose of avoiding triggered students that feel threatened by the scholastic bases they are given.

It is necessary to ascertain, however, that, just as faculty should have the freedom to teach without being subject to repression, students should have the liberty to form and look for places, clubs and organizations that might help them cope with whatever struggle they might be going through.

However, the search for a safe space should not, and hopefully will not, be implemented into the classrooms.

We have to tackle ignorance and the fear of truth instead of giving them the opportunity to poison the establishments that have tried to fight naïveté and obliviousness and give us, scholars, the tools to approach the comprehension we need to rest our principles on a well-established education.


Stephanie Sanchez is a sophomore journalism major from Ecuador.


Blog at WordPress.com.

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