REQUIRED: How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus – The Atlantic

For Wednesday, read this piece and come with your thoughts on the following discussion questions:

  1. What is the relationship between free expression and inclusive environments in higher education?
  2. What subjects might you find difficult to discuss in J676?
  3. Have you ever felt directly threatened as a result of some characteristic of yours, such as your age or religion or political ideology? If not threatened, bullied? If neither, treated badly in any way?
  4. Do you buy the authors’ arguments?

College students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education.

Source: How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus – The Atlantic

REQUIRED: How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life – The New York Times

We will be discussing Internet shaming in class. Read this before Wednesday. See you soon!

Still, in those early days, the collective fury felt righteous, powerful and effective. It felt as if hierarchies were being dismantled, as if justice were being democratized. As time passed, though, I watched these shame campaigns multiply, to the point that they targeted not just powerful institutions and public figures but really anyone perceived to have done something offensive. I also began to marvel at the disconnect between the severity of the crime and the gleeful savagery of the punishment. It almost felt as if shamings were now happening for their own sake, as if they were following a script.

Source: How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life – The New York Times

Exam thoughts?

I’m open for comments on the format and content of the next exam (subject to reasonable, thoughtful and comprehensive standards, of course). Use comments to tell me about format, length, content, etc. Feel free to suggest questions, as well.

How to Save College | The Awl

As promised … the provocative piece on the future of higher education, written by Clay Shirky, whom you’ve read in other contexts.

Shirky has thrown a bit of gasoline onto the fire over online education and Massive Open Online Courses. He’s making comparisons between higher ed and other industries challenged by upstart online models, including newspapers and the record industry. I found it fascinating, not least because of the evidence he provides to distinguish institutions like ours from other public two- and four-year programs and a for-profit system he refers to as “bottom-feeding scum … just asset-stripping student loans.”

How to Save College | The Awl.

Test your knowledge of prior restraint

This is a useful case for you to use to work through our discussions and readings thus far on prior restraint. Why would this order be unconstitutional? What are the theoretical underpinnings of that judgment?

Consider putting the case in a doc or spreadsheet on our Drive, so you can comment and discuss with each other.

MediaPost Publications Facebook User Challenges Take-Down Order Regarding McDonalds Halal Settlement 02/22/2013.