U of Chicago reminds new students that college is for grown-ups

University of Chicago letter to incoming students

Finally the grown-ups are retaking control of our college campuses. Or at least at the University of Chicago, the administration is speaking up and warning incoming students that the ridiculous, immature, hyper political correctness of SJWs (“social justice warriors”) disrupting other campuses in recent years will not be tolerated. There will be no “trigger warnings,” no “safe spaces,” and no banning of speakers with controversial points of view, says this week’s letter from University of Chicago Dean of Students John Ellison:

“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.”

It’s about damn time.

More at the New York Times “University of Chicago Strikes Back Against Campus Political Correctness”

21 thoughts on “U of Chicago reminds new students that college is for grown-ups

      1. naive I went to university to learn about ancient and medieval history and archaeology. Maybe to grow up. Hopefully. Not to spend all my time rat-arsed and in crazy frat/sor parties (we don’t have that in the uk. Luckily. Although oxbridge pushes crap like that). However, primarily, for me it was about an academic opportunity. Why has this been lost? Sure students want to discuss and challenge, but only certain topics? Oh. No.

        1. You can bet I went to learn, both academically and socially. I didn’t spend my time there having hissy fits and disrupting things for everyone else; I was too busy studying. It was a privilege to be admitted, even to a state university, and serious students didn’t abuse the privilege. (Besides, parents who paid the tuition expected and deserved some sort of return on their investment.)

      1. Well, college is for getting over that, too. You learn to be away from home for the first time (traditional students, anyway) and how to deal with your personal insecurities — in the relatively safe environment of a college campus. The alternative is to jump straight into the real world, which is a lot tougher than campus life.

        1. It seems to me that a parent could, if the parent is conscientious, gently warn his offspring that what a student wants to gain by his studies doesn’t always materialize in full or at all. Coping with disappointment, do we collectively do a good job teaching the youngsters amongst us about that?

          1. Good point. And I don’t know if we’re doing a good job of that or not. So many spoiled little darlings probably go off to college still believing they can have anything they want (whether or not they actually work for it). That’s another life lesson one might learn at college. As the Stones put it:

            You can’t always get what you want
            But if you try sometimes you just might find
            You get what you need

    1. I was fortunate to have the opportunity. So many people don’t. That’s why I find it so appalling that someone would take a place on the student roster (thereby denying someone else a place) just so they could spend their time agitating and disrupting.

      1. I think it relates to what’s commonly called “a sense of entitlement.” Not too long ago, someone, someone I don’t know, in some format in cyberspace, maybe it was Facebook, this someone wrote that he was [paraphrase forthcoming] “sick of hearing from beleaguered homosexuals whining about being oppressed by heterosexuals.” It opened my eyes, enlightened me toward avoiding taking the stance of the perpetual-victim. And I think there are many groups (blacks, feminists, Jews, the handicapped, etc.) who could really make good use of having that same gestalt dropped on them. The agitating and disrupting students you mentioned, for instance. In fact, I just wrote one post here today in the same vein.

        1. Playing the victim card is exactly the wrong way to gain the respect of others. Those disruptive groups on campus may think they’re entitled to disrupt because they are victims. They forget (or choose to ignore) the fact that everyone else is also entitled. You get respect by respecting others.

  1. Growing up the rants of my eccentric uncle where tolerated and accepted, but the whole family managed to put strict borders around his alternative ideas that ventured into the realm of cruel rudeness. Free speech does not make bad manners, or thoughtlessness to others exceptable. Civility is an essential element for our democracy to function.

    1. Learning how to get along with and respect others is a big part of the college experience. It’s the perfect place to transition from childhood to adulthood while still somewhat sheltered from the harshness of the real world.

  2. Seriously. Grow up or go home (and quit taking up space that a person interested in learning could be using.) College used to be your lat chance to explore options and build knowledge before choosing a career direction.
    Do you think part of the problem is that it suddenly became OK to go to college for 5-6 years before graduating, to take less than 15 hours per semester, to schedule all classes on T-Th so you have rest of the days to play? Another part I’m suspicious of is the wide offering of “remedial” classes for any student who just can’t make it. Really? Why take hard demanding courses if you can loaf with the lesser?
    A sheltered environment with some safety net to get ready for adulthood, yes,, but it’s not a playpen with everyone accomodating little whims, offering excuses, and not teaching more and more responsibility for actions.
    Cheers for those who take it seriously and make full use of all college experience has to offer.

    1. I think the troublemakers don’t care one iota about getting an education. If they did, they wouldn’t be abusing the privilege they have of being there in the first place. And it infuriates me that they interfere with the classes and routines of serious students who are there to get an education. They have every right to express their opinions and to disagree with others, but no right to interfere with the rights of others.

      All those remedial classes? I blame those on the high schools that graduate undeserving, unqualified students just to maintain their ratings as effective high schools. Shameful that we tolerate such games with the lives and educations of our kids. A good education is the single most valuable thing we can give them.

      1. If the students aren’t ready academically, they should not be admitted. (public school systems are in such shambles – no wonder the kids are a mess…but that shouldn’t be the higher edu’s problem. They need to gut it up and say students must be working at this level or stay away…maybe that would be a start.
        Then work backwards with parents and students making demands of the high schools ( and stop complaining when their little dahlins fail a course or get kicked out for disruptive behavior)
        Your last sentence needs to be tattoed on every parent’s arm when the infant is born.

        1. Donald Trump might say a big inheritance is the best gift from a parent, but I will always believe an education is the best gift. It will benefit them all of their lives and it can’t ever be lost or taken away from them.

... and that's my two cents