America's Unhealthy Obessession With Safety

For those of us who graduated from college within the last decade—but before terms like trigger warning and micro-aggression became current—today's college students appear to be a different breed. I graduated from Dartmouth in 2009, where I edited the conservative Dartmouth Review. The paper's bread and butter was covering (and making fun of) the earnest PC culture endemic to college campuses, and we editors had our antennae up for any hints of liberal folly.

But the issues we explored—like the administration's abortive attempt to implement a speech code or its efforts to abolish Greek life—seem quaint compared with what's been happening in the last few years at schools like the University of Minnesota, Yale, Evergreen State, Middlebury, and Berkeley, the last three being scenes of mob violence. Students' insistence on safe spaces and trigger warnings; the heckling of controversial speakers; the rise of bias-response hotlines; mob aggression as a response to offensive ideas—it's unimaginable to many millennials, liberals and conservatives alike, that such conditions have become common on campuses where we were students just a few years ago. What's changed?

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