An article published by the Los Angeles Times brings up the point that many college campuses have established “safe spaces,” which were once identifies as places where students could share problems but be shielded from verbal attacks. The article goes on to discuss why there’s support for safe spaces, such as the issue of identity, especially on college campuses, and students’ needs for a place to discuss their opinions without outsider hostility. However, these safe spaces also create separation between students and act as a form of self-segregation from others within the campus, which has caused many campuses to stop providing safe spaces to their students. Safe spaces grants freedom of speech to those who occupy the safe spaces, but clearly, those with contrasting opinions would not be welcomed into the safe spaces, which make safe spaces both for and against free speech.
A group of students at University of California San Diego (UCSD) wrote an article in The Koala, a student newspaper at UCSD, satirizing safe spaces and the construction of a new safe space within UCSD, emphasizing that “the lack of dangerous space at UCSD has become increasingly apparent…[safe spaces] threaten individuals who do not like feeling safe” (UCSD Unveils New Dangerous Space on Campus, The Koala). The article was meant to be a funny one, but may have grazed a fine line with the profane and vulgar humor within it. Soon after publication of the article, the UCSD student government passed a Media Act which defunded student media groups, of which The Koala is a part.
These two articles show the divide between supports and those who think safe spaces are actually detriments to a college campus, which we can use in our deliberation to show how even the many facets within the free speech issue have great divides and try to use the problems raised within the issues to spark a discussion on how we can make students feel safe to share their opinions without harming or lashing out at others. We could also use the article about The Koala to start a conversation on what the students think about free speech and how much schools and other authority can limit student speech on campus.
Furedi, Frank. “Campuses Are Breaking Apart into ‘Safe Spaces’.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2017, 4:00 AM, www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-furedi-safe-space-20170105-story.html.
Leef, George. “Student Writers Mock ‘Safe Spaces’ Idea; Can The University Retaliate Against Them?” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 26 Aug. 2017, 10:55 AM, www.forbes.com/sites/georgeleef/2017/08/26/student-writers-mock-safe-spaces-idea-can-the-university-retaliate-against-them/#621992ca5ebf.
TheKoala. “UCSD Unveils New Dangerous Space On Campus.” The Koala, University of California San Diego, 16 Nov. 2015, thekoala.org/2015/11/16/ucsd-unveils-new-dangerous-space-on-campus/.