University serves up soaring 'safe space' pledge

Franklin Pierce University now has a “Safe Space Pledge” listed on a website dedicated to “student conduct and community standards.”

According to the pledge, it is a student’s “responsibility to be an ally,” noting that “a Raven (the university’s mascot) demonstrates integrity and respect for the community.”

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“We must recognize that discrimination is not accepted, there is no excuse,” the Safe Space Pledge declares. “It is our responsibility to intervene, safely, in situations where discrimination has occurred.”

The pledge goes on to state that students “must come together to create a safe environment in which diversity and inclusion are appreciated and where everyone is welcomed.”

“It’s On Us, all of us, at Franklin Pierce University to end all forms of discrimination,” the pledge adds.

Meanwhile, the school’s “community standards” website advertises a “Safe Space Training” for “students, faculty, and staff” who wish to develop “skills to effectively support, affirm, refer, and advocate for LGBTQ+ community members” and learn “how to respond to and report incidents of hatred including assault and harassment.”

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“The training is meant to enhance sensitivity and raise awareness of underrepresented and oppressed identities,” a description for the training explains.

Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox noted that “universities typically impose these kind of pledges as a way to virtue signal, often raising alarms about a problem that may not really exist on their campus.”

“If the goal of a ‘safe space’ is not to protect students from actual harm, but instead from ideas they disagree with then these programs actually hurt the very students they are meant to protect by denying them the opportunity to have their views challenged,” Mattox told Campus Reform. “Rather than creating ‘safe spaces’ for some students, universities should be encouraging and protecting the rights of all students to join with others of like-mind to advocate for their viewpoints and to engage in debate with fellow students who hold different views.”

Campus Reform reached out to the university for elaboration on who is required to take the Safe Space Pledge or participate in the training, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AGockowski