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

The Fear of Education

  1. In the article “Willful Ignorance on Campus” by Lee McIntrye, he discusses the uprising issue of offensive speech and if students should be protected from it. A few colleges have had incidents where a person’s right to free speech has been challenged. At Yale University, a student tried to force a professor to apologize for a supposedly offensive e-mail written by his wife. Also, at Williams College a speaker was disinvited to give a speech, even when the name of the speaker series was ironically called ‘Uncomfortable Learning’. McIntrye argues that students on campus have become a form “willful ignorance, which is when we know that there are other ideas out there, but we refuse to consider them” (McIntrye). McIntrye believes that willful ignorance should not be happening for the reason that “certainty is dangerous, especially on a college campus, where ideas are supposed to be questioned” (McIntrye). In other words, McIntrye believes that college is the best atmosphere to have everyone’s ideas challenged. This allows us to listen to other people; we can either agree or disagree with someone, but sharing why we think that way is important to other people and our own development. Do you agree with McIntrye? Is it beneficial for students to be uncomfortable in their learning environment? If students become accustomed to “willful ignorance” in college, will this hinder their ability to solve issues and disputes later in their life? If so, how are we able to help this situation?

 

  1. In the article “A Plague of Hyper Sensitivity” by Todd Gitlin discusses the debate that people want protection or a warning from visual or verbal disturbances. Gitlin ties the idea of uncomfortable learning with the rising numbers of rapes, sexual assaults, and murders and then goes on to say “discomfort is the crucible of learning” (Gitlin). In other words, he says that these brutalities happen in real life, and often times on college campuses. College should be preparing us for the real world, not protecting us from it. Most people can agree that rapes, sexual assaults, murders, etc. are disturbing to hear, but doesn’t that mean we should learn about them so we are more aware and able to protect ourselves better? Later in his article, he discusses that people are becoming more cautious when they speak. “We’d rather say, ‘I’m uncomfortable with what you say’ than ‘I disagree with you’” (Gitlin). People are almost afraid to really share their opinions and ideas. Does being conscious when speaking and debating hinder our learning and understanding? In Fredrik DeBoer’s article, “Watch What You Say”, he discusses that professors especially have become fearful of losing their job as a result of challenging their students and making classes “uncomfortable” for the purpose of learning and discussing. He argues there is a “pervasive culture of fear at Universities” (Deboer). Students are scared of being uncomfortable, disturbed, and challenged; professors have a fear of losing their jobs to students who are fearful. If professors don’t teach uncomfortable issues, will students be deprived? And if professors are too scared to teach certain lessons, will we be accustomed to always having a comfortable mind? Is that a bad thing?

Big Words:

Bipartisan- of, relating to, or involving members of two parties

Silo- isolate (one system, process, department, etc) from others

Fervor- intense and passionate feeling

 

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?