Freedom of expression used to be the rally cry for university students of old. Now freedom of expression is called harassment, because it might damage the weak psyches of certain students. It seems in our self-absorbed society that freedom of expression really means freedom from hurt feelings.
However, as a University Professor I say Universities are designed to harass students. Webster’s defines harassment: to annoy or bother (someone) in a constant or repeated way. Accordingly, University Life is harassment.
The brain is supposed to feel harassed by tough math equations, challenging sociopolitical ideologies, and strenuous scientific theories.
Your body is supposed to feel harassed during long study hours, little sleep, three-hour labs and eating on the run.
Your emotions are supposed to feel harassed as you deal with new stimuli, assignment demands, confrontational issues and making your way towards an uncertain future.
This is all part of the university experience and is designed to help students think things through, expand horizons and learn the skills needed to become productive adults in an unstable world.
The natural response is to feel intimidated, threatened, and even have feelings hurt. It’s called growing up.
So in today’s “selfie generation” it may seem unfair or improper to have someone offend you, but lets face it, University life is harassment.
If your afraid of getting your feelings hurt, or being confronted with others opinions, than don’t go to college. Instead get a job, and then you can find out what it really feels like to be harassed.