Culture shock

Culture shock: to supporters of “freedom of expression”

I’m sick of seeing your posts about you feeling like your speech is somehow hampered by students who want a safe environment for themselves. I’m trans and queer and I’m sick of having to worry about fanatics. We are all sick and tired of it. This is how you have to live when you leave campus. Many of us have to deal with microaggressions or bigotry at home, so campus is supposed to be a safe place for us. I know it was for me, until this whole debacle started.

I don’t care if people see it as ‘pampering’, an unsafe environment negatively affects the mental health and therefore the studies of marginalized people. Sure, to some “thick-skinned” people, that sounds like pampering, but not everyone is thick-skinned. Not everyone can handle the same things as others. Comparing such emotional treatment is reductive and harmful. There is nothing wrong with being sensitive, especially to hate speech.

But this whole issue surrounding the USG’s free speech legislation has exposed various instances of bigotry among its proponents, which reveals its real purpose: lack of consequences. The legislation contains no clause protecting marginalized people from hate speech. Everyone on campus already has freedom of speech, the authors of this legislation are simply upset to have to deal with the consequences of being bigots.

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Culture Shock is an anonymous space for underrepresented and marginalized groups at UConn to share their stories. You can submit your story here.