25.2.16

A NEW KIND OF TRIGGER WARNING.

The latest microaggression folly appears to be preemptive.  Here's a story out of the University of Houston, as reported by the house organ for business as usual.
A PowerPoint slide in the presentation, arranged by the president of the central campus’s Faculty Senate, Jonathan Snow, provides suggestions for faculty members to alter their behavior, among other things, when the law takes effect for all four-year public colleges in the state, on August 1.
Without irony:

You may want to
  • Be careful discussing sensitive topics
  • Drop certain topics from your curriculum
  • Not "go there" if you sense anger
  • Limit student access off hours

That happens to be precisely the rubric of issuing trigger warnings or purging microaggressions from your course outlines and your presentations.  This time, though, it's scary.
"It’s a terrible state of affairs," Mr. Snow, a professor of isotope geochemistry, said in an interview with The Chronicle. "It’s an invasion of gun culture into campus life. We are worried that we have to change the way we teach to accommodate this minority of potentially dangerous students."
"Changing the way we teach" to accommodate head cases or snowflakes prone to getting the vapors, though, is de rigueur.  At least there are a few sensible Chronicle subscribers pointing out in the comments that permit holders are vetted, perhaps more thoroughly than professors of isotope geochemistry.

It's all particularly silly, as the Texas law allows private universities can invoke private property rights, and public universities can impose restrictions on carry (as is the case at Northern Illinois University, where Illinois now issues carry permits.)

As far as the fears some of the people interviewed in these stories raise about engaging in self-censorship because the possible (not actual) presence of a revolver is "intimidating," come off it.  It's more likely that the pistol-phobic weenies might learn a little politeness, such as not snarking at gun owners (or evangelicals or home-schoolers or conservatives) and expecting that everyone will go along with it.

For those snarks, after all, are also micro-aggressions, and as such, covered under the new dispensation on campus.
The list includes "race, color, language, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, height, weight, veteran's status and other social identities and identity markers."
Better for the advocates of concealed carry, whether in Texas or elsewhere, to jam the bias reporting system with complaints about the usual smugness all too many academics demonstrate.

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