Key Words: University of Chicago dean’s welcome letter is all about what’s not welcome

Its autumn quarter doesn’t begin till Sept. 26, but the University of Chicago has been racking up scores of back-to-school headlines since its dean of students sent a welcome letter last week to incoming freshmen — “first years,” in U. of C. parlance — that was most noteworthy for its proclamation of what would not be welcome this fall at the elite institution: safe spaces and trigger warnings. In the dean’s words:

‘Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called ”trigger warnings,” we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual “safe spaces” where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

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