A student who raised her hand has been accused of violating a college’s “safe space” rules. Yes, really, folks, this is actually what happened and what went down.
Insane as it sounds, those are the rules at the students’ association in Edinburgh University in the U.K.
Imogen Wilson was subjected to a “safe space complaint” for her “inappropriate hand gestures” during a meeting, the Telegraph is reporting.
According to the rules, student council meetings should be held in a “safe space environment.” What’s that? Well, it’s a “space which is welcoming and safe and includes the prohibition of discriminatory language and actions.”
Now, that doesn’t sound so bad – but here’s the next part: “That includes refraining from hand gestures which denote disagreement or in any other way indicating disagreement with a point or points being made.”
I’m not kidding. You can’t disagree or you’re breaking the rules.
“Disagreements should only be evident through the normal course of debate,” the rules state.
Wilson raised her hands in disagreement after another speaker accused her of failing to respond to an open letter – which she did.
Someone filed a complaint against Wilson, who was then subject to a vote to expel her from the meeting.
There were 51 people voting and luckily, 33 were sane and voted in her favor.
But then she shook her head when someone was talking and was threatened with another complaint.
This all stemmed from a discussion over whether the school should jump on the anti-Semitic “BDS” or “boycott, divest and sanctions” movement against Israel.
Maybe people should be less concerned with my arm movements and more concerned that EUSA just passed policy to support BDS.
— Imo Wilson EUSA VPAA (@eusavpaa) April 1, 2016
“I totally do believe in safe space and the principles behind it,” she told the Telegraph.“It’s supposed to enhance free speech and not shut it down, and give everyone a chance to feel like they can contribute.”
“Safe space is essential for us to have a debate where everyone can speak, but it can’t become a tool for the hard left to use when they disagree with people.
“At that meeting we were discussing BDS, the movement to boycott Israel. I made a long and passionate speech against us subscribing to this, on the basis it encourages anti-Semitism on campus. It was only after I made that speech that someone made a safe space complaint. I can’t help but think it was a political move against me.
“Later on in the meeting, someone threatened me with a second complaint because I was shaking my head – but when I was addressing the room about my worries about Jewish students, there were plenty of people shaking their heads and nothing happened.”
According to the group’s “safe space rules,” only gestures that indicate agreement are “permissible”, and then only as long as “these gestures are generally understood and not used in an intimidating manner”.
One Edinburgh university student, Charlie Peters, complained it was “pathetic” that hand gestures were “censored” and has started a petition calling on the student union to “reinstate and defend free speech”.
The petition, which has garnered more than 1,000 signatures, says: “We are adults, we do not need condescension or safeguarding.”
What in the world has America come to? Do these special snowflakes REALLY need this much coddling and babysitting? It’s past time for you all to grow up and behave like the adults you claim to be. For shame.
collegeKatie McGuireRaised Hand