Letter: Thoughts on “The Coddling of the American Mind”
I am a first-year student at the university and would like to share my thoughts about “The Coddling of the American Mind,” a provocative piece published in The Atlantic, and how its message might pertain to the university. The author argues that new, and, admittedly, good-intentioned, developments in college discourse may actually be harming students. Things like “trigger warnings” and “microaggressions” are teaching students to shun exposure to something controversial or uncomfortable, which is decidedly opposed to the traditional concept of a college education.
Universities are supposed to aid students in expanding their mindset by coming into contact with ideas completely foreign to them — that’s essential in becoming a more open-minded individual. Of course I don’t mean this as an indictment of the university, but rather, I am interested in learning how others feel on this subject. I would encourage everyone at the university to read “The Coddling of the American Mind” to reflect on this subject and consider how we might protect this university from falling into such intellectual pitfalls. The university has long been an excellent community engaged in helping students learn more about the world, even when the process is stressful, and I support students and administrators doing their part to make sure the university remains that way.
Ryan Dean is a student at the university and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.