I bounded up the staircase on all fours, caught the baluster at the top and swung into my parent’s bedroom, gliding on the furnished wood floor Risky Business style. A small pair of brown eyes just barely peaked out over the king-sized bed from the other side of the room. “What’s up?” I asked. “Uh. I got lost…”
I looked at him, puzzled for a few moments, before shrugging and clambering back down the stairs.
Arbitrarily, the entire premise of college is to expand one’s knowledge of the world and gain new perspective, both of which can be inhibited without open, uncensored dialogue about controversial topics. While such topics can be difficult to digest for many individuals, certain provoking topics such as sexual assault, cancer and war are the brutal realities of the world in which we live. Although it is not innately effortless to immerse oneself in discussion related to such matters, it is vital that students participate to broaden their educations and perspectives. Thus, while professors should be mindful of the ways they expose students to controversial materials (and perhaps caution students of universally graphic material), they should not be required to administer trigger warnings or options to “opt out” of “triggering” topics. College is not the time nor the place to evade disconcerting topics; allowing students to disengage with materials on the basis that they are not rationally capable of handling such discussions is inimical.