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Colleges must promote discomfort, not crush it

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Sam Stroud

Staff Writer

College campuses used to be bastions of free expression and thinking, but over the years, far leftism has corrupted many universities to their core. Places once full of intellectual diversity have become bubbles and echo chambers where only one side is promoted and the other discouraged. 

It is against this backdrop that we see colleges catering to people who see anything threatening their bubble. Over the summer, the University of Mississippi acquired a landshark as its new mascot. Why did the university abandon the Rebel, its century-old mascot, for some bizarre fish-man hybrid? People were uncomfortable with a Rebel — some said it was racist and glorified the image of Southerners fighting to keep their slaves. 

Instead of discussing the other reasons and motives for why Southerners defected from the Union and talking about how to avoid such a situation where people let politics split the country in two, the university got rid of the object causing the discomfort. 

Stanford is renaming buildings that were named after the canonized Saint Junipero Serra because college students there say they are offended by his alleged treatment. Rather than just explain what Serra did and present other viewpoints that claim his mission impacted the region in a positive way, Stanford is just getting rid of his name. 

Colleges are failing to perform their most basic function, challenging their students. When students dictate campus policy, they learn absolutely nothing except that if you throw a big enough fit, you will be coddled. 

Confronting what makes you uncomfortable helps you in the long run — it helps you understand why you believe what you believe. 

You can craft better arguments for your position if you know what the other side believes. If you think that the Rebel mascot is outdated and shouldn’t be a university icon, people will disagree with you.  Demanding it be taken down without any questions is not going to help you grow intellectually; it’s not preparing you for the real world, where nobody is going to care how offended you are about a certain issue. 

If colleges continue to remove discomfort from their environment, they will be teaching their students that volume is more important than content. If you scream the loudest, people will do what you want. This is a very dangerous lesson to learn, and colleges must stop catering to students in this manner.