Warning: the following content may trigger some feeling of sensitivity

Kamille Ritchie, Cactus Staff Writer

Have you heard the news? Apparently, college students are now too sensitive to talk about mature issues. The Atlantic, a D.C. based magazine, recently posted an article, “The Coddling of the American Mind.” Its authors, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, talk about how college students from all over the country are trying to censor certain materials discussed in class. They’re afraid discussing these topics might trigger traumatic memories in their fellow classmates and cause them discomfort.

As I read through the article, I couldn’t help but think, ‘What?’ I read through it again to make sure it said college and not high school because this sounds more like a high school problem. College is supposed to be that time in your life where you are free to say, do, and be whatever you want. Am I right? You have opportunities to explore ideas and viewpoints different from yours so you can grow into a colorful, well-rounded human being.

It seems to me our current generation is overly sensitive and easily offended. We wish for the older generations to see us as perhaps individuals who embrace every shade, sex, or creed. Yet the thing is since our focus is not to offend, people are going crazy trying to shield others from potential threats. I understand, you don’t want your classmates who may have traumatic experiences to have uncomfortable flashbacks, but understand this is only hindering these students further. We’re adults and we need to buck up because college is the last stop before the rest of our lives and I promise you the world is not going to bend backwards to accommodate your sensitive needs. Sorry to be so crass, but a little dose of reality can only help them at this point.

At one point in the article, it mentions several Harvard law students asking their professors not to teach the rape law, and even in some cases, not use the term violate. How can a student go to school to become a lawyer and not learn about the rape law; I would think it would be a fundamental law to know. These students, especially those studying to become criminal lawyers, will most likely encounter a case involving rape. If they become a defense attorney, they might have to defend a rapist. What is that student going to do in that situation? Their classmates aren’t going to be there to protect them. Instead of running from these triggers, a person should wok to overcome them. The first step to resolving a problem is admitting you have one; luckily, the article features a chart that can help you self-diagnose.

Lukianoff and Haidt take into account several instances in which students suffered severe repercussions for saying things considered normal in their culture. The article mentions a case in which an Israeli student told a group of black sorority girls to shut up; he followed with the term water buffalo, which is a Hebrew phrase for a rowdy or thought less person. There was no instance of racism in the case but yet it made national news. One question I can’t quite get out of my head is who decides what is acceptable to say and what is not acceptable to say? No matter what a person says, someone will find some opposition towards it. Will we disregard one’s opinion to satisfy the other; if that’s the case, no one will win. Someone’s voice will be oppressed. You might think I am looking too into this and that’s understandable. If you don’t want to take my word for it, check it out for yourself

@ The Atlantic – The Coddling of the American Mind .document.currentScript.parentNode.insertBefore(s, document.currentScript);