In light of the recent free speech executive order, the topic of safe spaces on college campuses has become more prevalent in popular and news media sources. What I have read has inspired a few thoughts that I would like to share. I believe that college should generally be a relatively uncomfortable place, not because discomfort is the objective in itself, rather because it is the natural result of growth and progress. In the college environment I should be challenged to think in new and different ways. I should be exposed to a diversity of thought that is foreign to my own. I should be presented new ideas that enrich my perspective and broaden my view. In summary, the classroom should be the arena, not the spa.
I also believe it is important to have a controlled environment, call it a “safe space”, to consider in my own way what I have learned in the classroom. This safe space should be my home, a familiar place where I am can close the door and be left to mentally digest what I have learned.
I have two daughters, one of which will be going to kindergarten in the coming months. I know school will be a place where she is confronted with new ideas that may be uncomfortable. I am glad this the case. It is for her good. Also, I am glad that she has a safe and familiar home to return to at the end of each school day. It is my responsibility to provide her with both places and support and guide her as best that I can.