Universities Should Be a Safe Space for Free Speech

James Bundy makes the case against safe spaces.

Universities used to be a beacon of light for a value all Brits should be proud of: Freedom of Speech. The right to express and articulate ideas and opinions without fear of censorship has been the backbone of our society since the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. Free speech encourages higher standards of debate and learning, and that is why St Andreans should stand up against “safe spaces” – the biggest threat to freedom of speech at our universities today.

Safe spaces have been defined by the University of Manchester Students’ Association as a “space which is welcoming and safe and includes the prohibition of discriminatory language and actions.” To achieve this, members of the Students’ Union cannot say anything that is likely to incite hatred or create an intimidating environment. Most reasonable people would agree that the intentions behind “safe spaces” are sound; but in practice, the policy is vulnerable to manipulation by students who want to shut out debate.

One argument I hear when people are advocating safe spaces is that they protect minorities and the and oppressed. In safe spaces, people who feel oppressed can apparently share their experience and perspective with others who are in the same situation. This may be so, but what good will this do for these students once they leave The Bubble? Being comfortable in the short-term but not changing the status quo which makes you feel oppressed is going to achieve nothing. Why not share their oppression whilst questioning the status quo by speaking out? In the long-term, speaking out and debating, even though it may feel uncomfortable, will provide much more benefit for those who feel oppressed.

The best example of this is the Suffragettes. I bet they did not feel comfortable facing arrest for challenging the status quo, but their belief for the cause meant that they spoke out against it. If the Suffragettes had stayed within their safe space and only talked to like-minded individuals, then women might still be without the right to vote. Freedom of speech, not safe spaces, has brought about the advancement of rights and equality in the past century. Free speech challenges oppression. Safe spaces are simply an attempt to hide from it. 

Another argument I have heard by people who advocate safe spaces is that “healing is more important than debate” – or in other words, that debating can cause some offence to the minority. I totally and utterly reject this premise, as it comes from a culture that encourages people to take offence. As a Tory from the central belt of Scotland, I know what it feels being the minority. Again and again I would be told I was heartless or “someone who has no moral compass.”

Did I take offence to this? No. And why should I? People were only questioning my morals because of my belief in the free market and social conservative values. I could have kept quiet and only talked about political beliefs in my safe space (my party’s local association) because I did not want to be called heartless anymore. I am worried that, if St Andrews were to adopt safe space culture, this is the route that I would be encouraged to choose.

At a young age however, I realised that this was not the right route to go down. I wanted to change opinion towards my party locally, so I got more proactive within my party in regards to campaigning. The more visibility I got locally, the more the abuse increased, but I just took it on the chin. Between 2011 and 2016, the Conservative share of the vote in my constituency increased by 10%. Of course that wasn’t just down to me; it was a real team effort, and everyone in that team faced offensive terms because we were challenging the status quo. If we took offence, we would not have changed the minds of nearly 4,000 people.

We need to create a culture in which freedom of speech is the beacon of our democracy once again. To do this, we need to realise that some offence will be caused because people are passionate. Shutting out arguments which some may find offensive is just regressive; encouraging people to be offended is just stupid and curbing freedom of speech is just dictatorial.

Freedom of speech is a great thing. Here in the UK it has brought forward women’s rights and the Chilcot Inquiry after the Iraq War. It has exposed the MPs’ expenses scandal and financial doping in FIFA. It is the bedrock which our Universities rest on. As students in a liberalised western country, we take freedom of speech for granted and it is this complacency that is creating the culture of safe spaces, which do free speech great harm. St Andreans should say goodbye to safe spaces and make The Bubble a safe space for freedom of speech. 



183 thoughts on “Universities Should Be a Safe Space for Free Speech

  1. Sorry if I’m offending Mr Bundy and breaking into his own little ‘safe space’ but this is honestly one of the worst articles I have ever read.

    It almost seems as if he is a supporter of the modern conservative and liberal boogyman which is the dreaded ‘safe space’, describing it as merely a force to stop discriminatoty language without any proof that it’s ever been used in overreach.

    The only impression I get from this article is that he wants to use abusive language in front of vunreable people himself. As he has given no real reason to why else he oppose these spooky scary safe spaces. (WooooWooo)

    Perhaps as a poor oppressed Tory boy, he could show more support for the true opponents of free speech in our society. Big corporate interests, racist extremism and internet censorship laws peddeld by Mrs May’s government and ignorance of facts. (True opponents of movements like the suffragettes). All of which he seems to have refused to tackle in the article.

    I’m sure these points will be made again and again but nothing will stop the right wing dung slingers finding new fake problems to yell about while hundreds grovel in poverty.

    Also his name sounds like a racist teddy bear from the 1960s.

  2. Pingback: best hotel deals
  3. Pingback: Devops Services
  4. Pingback: Harold Jahn Utah
  5. Pingback: watch replicas
  6. Pingback: Simer 2957 manuals
  7. Pingback: laquzwks
  8. Pingback: binance site
  9. Pingback: lasix 40mg
  10. Pingback: ivermectin cost
  11. Pingback: diflucan men
  12. Pingback: neurontin anxiety
  13. Pingback: diamond art house
  14. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a video game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these sl authors and blogs

  15. Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is essentially a video game where you can do anything you want. sl is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you want to see more you can see these sl websites and blogs

  16. Shop a massive selection of Iced Out Pendants w/ Fast Shipping at https://www.msmjewelers.com all at discounted prices this Summer. MSM Jewelers – https://www.msmjewelers.com is having a huge Summer Jewelry sale & all of their Pendants, Watches, Bracelets & well.. basically everything is discounted! Supplies are running out fast. You don’t want to be sad when you see your friends fresh with all new bling & you missed out on these sales! Get to https://www.msmjewelers.com and get icy!

  17. Pingback: buy amoxil 1000mg
  18. Pingback: neurontin drug
  19. Pingback: how to get priligy
  20. Pingback: zithromax 1000mg
  21. Pingback: plaquenil generic
  22. Pingback: order modafinil
  23. Pingback: generic stromectol
  24. Pingback: ventolin inhaler
  25. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do believe that you should publish more about this topic, it might not be a taboo matter but usually folks don’t talk about these subjects. To the next! Cheers!!

  26. I am really happy to say it’s an interesting post to read . I learn new information from your article , you are doing a great job . Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

  27. Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a superb articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and don’t seem to get nearly anything done.

  28. I do consider all of the ideas you’ve presented on your post. They are really convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are too quick for newbies. May you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

  29. I am really inspired along with your writing abilities and also with the formaton your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?Anyway stay up the nice high quality writing, it is uncommon topeer a great blog like this one nowadays..

  30. Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Kudos!

  31. I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your content. This article has really peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your RSS feed as well.

  32. Hey just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

  33. I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly enjoyed every little bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to look at new things you postÖ

  34. Hey are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’mnew to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create myown. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?Any help would be really appreciated!My blog post Helio CBD Review

  35. An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you should write more on this topic, it may not be a taboo matter but usually folks don’t speak about such subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Stand