‘Safe space’ is a loaded term on university campuses, and in recent years the notion has been used to silence academic debate, fire professors and ban student groups with unpopular or uncomfortable views. JCCF has reported on these cases in the Campus Freedom Index.
In Canada, its latest application might be its most absurd. Student politicians at the University of Waterloo’s Federation of Students (Feds) are crying “safe space” to justify closed-door board meetings. At their final meeting of the year, the out-going executive moved to close future meetings from the public and media—students who are required to pay fees to Feds in order to study at the University of Waterloo. One student leader is reported to have justified the move, saying that “less scrutiny results in better decision-making.”
When ‘safe space’ is used to silence debate because someone feels uncomfortable, the floodgates open to a culture of absurdity where student politicians can avoid accountability because their feelings might be hurt, pro-life groups can be banned because they might offend someone, and the list goes on. What is most worrying about this trend is that the minds of Canada’s next generation of leaders are being trashed with this half-baked ideology.