Duke University students will soon be able to take refuge from the harsh reality of the world in the new “Sanford Safe Space.”
A former faculty office in the Sanford School of Public Policy has been converted to accommodate the space safe. According to the Duke Chronicle, the room will open its doors to the student body this year.
The Sanford School implemented a safe space on its own campus in hopes to “destigmatize the ‘safe space’- promoting it as a complement, not impediment, to effective debate,” reports the Chronicle.
“The room will be an experiment in helping people heal, and that a social worker will also be present. The door will be open to all groups,” co-chair of the Sanford Committee on Diversity Kathryn Whetten tells the Chronicle.
“We want to have a place for people who feel marginalized and face constant attention for characteristics that are immutable—like their skin color or their religion, their immigration status or whether they’re from another country—to be able to heal,” says Whetten.
Whetten also tells the Chronicle that she believes safe spaces “actually promote rigorous discussion because they give marginalized individuals the confidence to feel comfortable speaking up.”
The Sanford School is taking the coddling a step further than offering a physical space for protection from reality. It also has plans to set up a student discussion series on topics such as free speech, microaggressions and challenges in policing.