Campus “free speech”: The Onion gets it right

May 11, 2015 • 2:15 pm

I can rant about the death of free speech on college campuses till my face turns blue, but all it takes is one satirical story, one paragraph long, for The Onion to blow the whole issue away. Have a look at: “College encourages lively exchange of an idea” with the subtitle, “Students, faculty invited to freely express single viewpoint.”

Here’s the entire text:

BOSTON—Saying that such a dialogue was essential to the college’s academic mission, Trescott University president Kevin Abrams confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea. “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion,” said Abrams, adding that no matter the subject, anyone on campus is always welcome to add their support to the accepted consensus. “Whether it’s a discussion of a national political issue or a concern here on campus, an open forum in which one argument is uniformly reinforced is crucial for maintaining the exceptional learning environment we have cultivated here.” Abrams told reporters that counseling resources were available for any student made uncomfortable by the viewpoint.

Puppies, bubbles, and Play-Doh!

h/t: Larry

27 thoughts on “Campus “free speech”: The Onion gets it right

  1. “counseling resources were available for any student made uncomfortable by the viewpoint.”


      1. Kafka: also a trigger. Also, too, Camus. Really, anything worth reading from the 20th century makes a person want to* stick his head in the oven and blow out the pilot light.

        * Trigger Warning: Making light of ennui and its cure.

    1. Amazing. But the comments in the article include some very good ones that advise sensitized students to choose their battles.

      [waggles fingers] These are not the offenses you are looking for.

    2. Columbia needs to add Basic Vocabulary to its core curriculum, since these hothouse tomatoes and tomataes plainly do not know the meaning of the word “unsafe.”

    1. In the spirit of recycling, they use brains from the theology department. They’re able to be manipulated into whatever shape can possibly be imagined, while retaining their core conviction that they are play-doh.

  2. So do they have to include a “Trigger Warning” in the braille version of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex?

    1. Were I a lit professor, I think I might deal with the problem in one fell swoop: “Students, every single book written before 2016 has a trigger warning. Consider yourself warned. Now let’s discuss the curriculum…”

  3. I read a clever essay the other day calling for an end to “Not the Onion” as the go-to comment on absurd current affairs. It included a great run-down of articles that employed it recently.

    Personally, I’m in favor of continued usage: it spreads the word and keeps some seriously funny people gainfully employed.

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