Who’s Job is it?

Doyle’s essay on campus sex and campus security there is a huge emphases on how the media often gets the story wrong in order to sell more of their product.  As story from Rolling Stone documents a case incorrectly and left victims as predators and vice versa.  Do you believe that there is a problem with how the mainstream media approaches the topic of rape and sexual assault or do you think that more often than not they get it right?  How does this differ from the use of social media especially in the hands of college students?

 

In this article we also see some disconnect from the student body and the governing body of the school.  Often times the university is looking to cover the trails of rape and sexual assault in order to keep the schools reputation in the clear.  At UC Davis nonviolent protest was broken up by police with force that could be seen as excessive.  This raid on the protest was ordered by the Chancellor and was carried out by campus police in order to keep normality on campus, yet as stated before reports of rape and sexual assault are not documented or handled well or at all.  Why do you think campuses fight against nonviolent protest but are unwilling to fight against the violent acts of rape and sexual assault?  Do you think our campus offers enough support for victims or is it pretty much the same at every college?

 

Title Nine protects students from not being sexually biased against and is in place to create a safe area for students in college.  Do you believe it is doing its job well enough?  Do you think it is the governments, student’s, or college’s fault for the number of rape and sexual assaults on campus?  Do you think that the college should have any say in cases of rape and sexual assault on their campus or should it be sent right to the police in order for them to effectively and fairly take care of the situation?  Would state police taking care of all rape and sexual assault charges start to reduce the rate at which they happen?  Or is the college the one that really has to step up and take care of the situation on its campus?

Apparatus- any system or systematic organization of activities, functions,processes, etc., directed toward a specific goal:

Fractal- relating to or of the nature of a fractal or fractals

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Why is our Generation so Insecure and Afraid?

  1. In Todd Gitlin’s article, You are here to be Disturbed, he claims that students nowadays going to universities are scared of issues going on in the world and at their future campus before even arriving or having anything happen to them. He believes that society today is becoming to “thin skinned” and are letting issues get to us before anything even happens. One of the examples he uses is about college students, particularly females, and their fear of sexual assault. He asks his readers, “Is sexual assault on campus more common than ever, requiring new levels of preventive intervention? Or is the fear of rape, surely realistic up to a point, inordinate?” (Gitlin). Following this statement he also shows data stating that in our generation, anxiety is the number one reason students are meeting with counselors and that about half of the students end up seeking counseling help at least once while attending college. Giltin claims that studies have been shown to stating that anxiety issues in college students nowadays aren’t just about whole world issues, such as rape, or race issues, but instead are about more personal issues, like work and debt. Do you believe that this increase of anxiety in students is a big issue? Were you surprised to see the huge increase in data from previous generations to ours now? What do you think should be done to try to help students to not feel as anxious or stressed?

 

  1. In Lee McIntyre’s article, Willful ignorance on campus, he discusses how students on today’s campuses are less willing to listen to new opinions, and instead just focus on their own. He states, “Willful ignorance is when we know that there are other ideas out there, but we refuse to consider them. We believe in our own positions so strongly that no amount of evidence can persuade us to change it, such as when vaccine deniers continue to insist that the shot for measles, mumps, and rubella causes autism, despite a mountain of scientific studies that have discredited that view.” (McIntyre). In today’s society many people only have a one track mind of thinking about an issue, and think it’s only my way and no other way. What do you think about some of the points he made in his article? Do you see more people exhibiting willful ignorance around our campus? Do you think we should try to change this or do you think that having and sticking with your views without outside influences trying to change your mind is a good thing?

 

Education: Ignorant Inside and Out

  1. In an article of The Chronicle, author Todd Gitlin discusses an idea surrounding colleges in that students attend to learn, and in doing so may be suspect to discomfort. Gitlin explores the sensitive topics that typically surround college curriculum, including sexual assault, racism, and mental health, to name a few. Mental health, in this sense, seems to have risen, which is not only seen in the raise of students visiting college counseling departments, but in the opinions of the students themselves. To provide a possible explanation for these findings, Gitlin quotes clinical psychologist John Ehrenreich saying “that [young people] exhibit ‘greater narcissism, unrealistically high self-appraisal, and an increased focus on immediate gratification and on external goals such as money, image, and status.’” Ehrenreich follows this by explaining that distress is not at the faults of the young people, but that they have been generated this way and are used to being above average as a norm. This idea makes it easy to understand why young adults nowadays have trouble adjusting in uncomfortable situations. With all this in mind, the article concludes that the generation that is notorious for thin skin may have many reasons surrounding it. Does this mean it is an insult for young adults to be uncomfortable with sensitive topics, and if so, why? Is there a line to be drawn at what is considered “uncomfortable” and should exclusion from certain discusses only apply to those who are believed to be victims?
  2. In Lee McIntyre’s article “Willful Ignorance on Campus”, McIntyre introduces some ideas behind the debate of sensitivity on college campuses, exemplifying controversial topics such as global warming and offensive Halloween customs. This article focuses mainly on the idea of denialism, where McIntyre operationally defines willful ignorance as, “when we know that there are other ideas out there, but we refuse to consider them.” McIntyre also discusses the concept that people may become so defensive in their ideas that they almost “demonize” the ideas of others. Regardless of the views of each side, all individuals utilize confirmation bias, in that they will search and believe whatever evidence seems to support their beliefs. How important do you believe these behaviors are when taking in information, both in and outside of school? Have you ever caught yourself engaging in confirmation bias, or other types of ignorance in order to reaffirm your beliefs?
  3. Author Fredrik deBoer’s article “Watch What You Say” looks at sensitivity from a different perspective, one which pertains more to older adults, rather than young, new college students. In this article, deBoer discusses the taboo around voicing opinions on the internet, in a day and age where employers can easily find personal information. This issue is not focused only on students, but on faculty too, as deBoer points out by using the example of a teacher getting fired for posting on twitter before they had even begun the job. deBoer then brings in the more recently common trend of protests in college life, and the role faculty play alongside these students, in that no matter the cause or opinion, “they will ultimately be part of the institution, and serve the needs of the institution, rather than the needs of the students.” Do you believe employers, especially at universities, have right to look up, and ultimately hold against, public information about their employees, regardless to the relevance to the job? Do you believe faculty at the University of Delaware are engaged in the well-beings of their students, or simply do their job as set by the university?

 

Constitutive: Having the power of constituting, establishing, or giving formal, definite, or organized existence to something; constructive.

Demonized: Made into or represented as a demon; (now) esp. portrayed as wicked and threatening, esp. in an inaccurate or misrepresentative way.

Ephemeral: That is in existence, power, favour, popularity, etc. for a short time only; short-lived; transitory.

Is Education Curbed by Fear and Ignorance?

1.) In his recent article entitled “Willful Ignorance on Campus,” Lee McIntyre stresses the importance of being uncomfortable in a campus classroom to rid our generation of its overpowering “willful ignorance.” By this, he means that students should have their beliefs challenged by the professors and by other students so that they do not leave college believing that the only relevant side to the argument is their own. McIntyre asserts that “An education that shields students from discomfort turns colleges into country clubs that give credentials.” He is stressing the importance of challenging a students’ ideals. If a student does not have any opposition to his or her beliefs, but instead only receives praise or support, he or she will go into the work world and not be able to take into account the feelings and beliefs of other people, making them arrogant and closed-minded. Do you agree with McIntyre that being uncomfortable is a vital part of a college education? Or do you have a different view on things? Why or why not?

2.) Todd Gitlin questions the “hypersensitivity” of our generation in his article “You Are Here to be Disturbed.” He talks about bleaks topics such as rape, depression, and anxiety. Gitlin introduces and opposes the idea of “trigger warnings,” or advisement of upcoming information or visuals that call for the discretion of the viewer. He states that, “The proper way to begin understanding [the world] is to accept the unwritten contract of university education: I am here to be disturbed.” The author believes that things such as “trigger warnings” and censoring hinder the course of learning, as they shield the students from the true colors of the world. What is your stance on “trigger warnings?” Do you think that we should eliminate them in a college setting, to expose students to all of the tragedies of the world? Are there certain situations in which they should be used and others in which they can be omitted?

3.) Author Fredrik deBoer talks about fear as something that suppresses academic freedom in colleges in his article entitled “Watch What You Say.” Being a university employee himself, deBoer is frustrated with the mixed messages being put out by our society for professors and other university works alike. He states, “this advice to carefully watch one’s words comes at precisely the same time that more and more people, both within and outside academe, are calling for more public engagement by professors.” He is discontented because he believes that it is the job of the professor to speak freely, in hopes of teaching students about the real world. He believes that learning has become sheltered because professors are scared to say what they really want to say, but also scared because they feel like they must put in their own input in order to really teach. In this day, do you think that we are encouraging professors to be more public about their opinions or more quiet? Which do you think is better for the college setting?