As calls for safe spaces on campuses continue to crop up in discussions at colleges and universities, one president says he doesn’t want his students to think of themselves as victims.
Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, recently wrote a blog post on the university’s website entitled “This Is Not a Day Care. It’s a University!” In the post, he wrote that Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place” but “a place to learn.”
Mr. Piper’s remarks were spurred, according to the post, by a student at the Christian university who approached him after a chapel service to say he had felt victimized by a sermon’s message on love.
“Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic!” Mr. Piper wrote. “Anytime their feelings are hurt, they are the victims!”
He called feelings of discomfort “a conscience” and said that if students seek “to be enabled rather than confronted, there are many universities across the land (in Missouri and elsewhere) that will give you exactly what you want, but Oklahoma Wesleyan isn’t one of them.”
He went on to offer advice: Oklahoma Wesleyan is “more interested in you practicing personal forgiveness than political revenge,” Mr. Piper wrote. He continued: “We believe the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin. We don’t believe that you have been victimized every time you feel guilty, and we don’t issue ‘trigger warnings’ before altar calls.”
The post also appeared in the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, for which Mr. Piper is a weekly columnist. He shared similar opinions on trigger warnings in an essay two weeks ago.