Daily 49er

Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

Back to Article
Back to Article

Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Print Friendly, PDF & Email

There are a lot of things about working toward a college degree that might not be enjoyable, but should students be allowed to opt out of a piece of their coursework simply because they aren’t comfortable with the material?

We say no. However, the Academic Senate at University of California, Santa Barbara is pushing for a “trigger policy” that would grant students permission to be absent for class on days when intended course work includes topics and/or items that make them uncomfortable.

For instance, if a syllabus for a history course indicates that one specific class day has been designated as the day for the class to watch a film on the Holocaust, students may inform their teachers that they are not comfortable with viewing that film, and their absence will be excused.

On the surface, we feel that the students interested in this kind of a policy need to toughen up. Part of the reason a university degree is so valuable is because students are deliberately exposed to a variety of experiences, which often include the study of sensitive topics.

An art student, for example, must study the full range of human experience in order to accurately portray his or her subjects; a literature student must read a variety of work, including pieces that are difficult to endure, in order to develop an eye for quality.

If students can pick and choose the topics they want to deal with, their education is more of an independent studies degree rather than a traditional, higher quality degree.

The UCSB Academic Senate agreed to support the proposed policy, and are waiting for faculty to jump on board. We recognize that the policy is not intended to allow students an excuse for ditching class, but we also feel that the policy could be abused by a majority of the students who partake in it.

We were glad to hear from the UCSB Academic Senate that the policy will include measures that require students to make up for missed classes on their own time in a “safer environment.” This leads us to believe that the policy may be a little more stringent than what is being propagated by opponents.

According to the UCSB Academic Senate, a lot of the media coverage about the policy has been inaccurate and misinformed. For instance, an opinion article from LA Times said the policy is the “glorification of victimhood” and blamed millennials for the surge of hypersensitivity.

The “trigger policy” may have stemmed from the violent scuffle that occurred between a UCSB liberal studies professor, Mireille Miller-Young, and a 16-year-old abortion protester in March. The anti-abortion protesters stood on UCSB campus with graphic posters depicting images of human remains. Miller-Young said she was “triggered” to scratch the protester, Trinh Short.

So, anti-abortion extremists are stomping on campus grounds. What else is new? Here at CSULB, we witnessed a similar situation in March, though no one on our campus resorted to violence. We didn’t use the offenses of the protest as an excuse for opting out of class time, either. The only thing we were triggered to do was roll our eyes.

That in mind, we are leaning toward the idea that students will likely be compromising the quality of their education if they have the freedom to choose the manner in which they learn about various topics.

The policy probably has commendable intentions, but we are highly critical of the results that it will likely produce. We encourage students to choose courses that are more suited to their personal needs, rather than having an option to take only some parts of a course.

Further, if a student feels that their classes expose them to environments that are so uncomfortable that they need to leave the room, perhaps they are in the wrong major altogether. Intentions aside, we think this “trigger policy” might be jumping the gun.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Left
  • Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

    Editorials

    Together we stand, divided we fall

  • Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

    Editorials

    Our View: The staff discusses Prospector Pete

  • Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

    Editorials

    In photos: Incoming students navigate Long Beach State

  • Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

    Editorials

    Tips and Tricks for back to school

  • Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

    Editorials

    Arming teachers misses the mark

  • Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

    Editorials

    Pick a name — any name

  • Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

    Editorials

    Commencement Conundrum: Lack of communication leaves students confused

  • Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

    Editorials

    The Internet is in danger — but you can help

  • Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

    Editorials

    CSULB must prioritize commuting students

  • Our View: UCSB ‘trigger policy’ is a shot in the dark

    Editorials

    Our view: how to approach Election Day

Navigate Right