Trigger Warnings, Safe Spaces, and “Special Snowflakes”: The Politics of Campus Speech and the First Amendment

Date(s) - 09/27/2016
2:00 pm - 3:15 pm

Freedom Forum Conference Center, third floor of Carroll Hall

warning-signLast month, the dean of students at the University of Chicago warned incoming freshmen that the university does not support “trigger warnings” as part of its commitment to freedom of expression, drawing criticism from students who said the letter distorted programs on which many students rely and ignored the hostile campus climate. Last spring, students at the University of Missouri demanded a “safe space” in a public area of campus, drawing criticism from the press and other free speech advocates who criticized Mizzou students for being “special snowflakes.” Here at UNC, students have protested to demand greater inclusion in the wake of several racist incidents; at the same time, other students have faced criticism for their choice of conservative campus speakers. Join our student panelists as they review, sort out, and debate the merits and drawbacks of these debates and examine whether and how campuses like UNC can create greater understanding about campus speech practices and the First Amendment, while also mediating conflict and supporting students.

These will be the panelists:

  • Brooks Fuller, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Media and Journalism.
  • Emily Yue, the assistant opinion editor of The Daily Tar Heel.
  • Caleb Johnson, a third-year student in the UNC School of Law.
  • Cara Pugh, co-chair, UNC Student Government Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Outreach (MADO) Committee.
  • Jeannette Porter, a third-year Ph.D. student in the School of Media and Journalism, will moderate the panel.

This event is being organized by Victoria “Tori” Ekstrand, an assistant professor in the School of Media and Journalism.

Tagged: 1AD2016, First Amendment Day
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