Students at a university in Arizona are demanding their president resign after she said she does not support safe spaces.
A student recently asked Northern Arizona University (NAU) president Rita Cheng how she could endorse safe spaces, even though she doesn’t “take action in situations of injustice,” describing a situation in which a preacher was “promoting hate speech against marginalized students,” as reported by KPNX.
Cheng responded that she doesn’t actually support safe spaces.
“As a university professor, I’m not sure I have any support at all for safe space,” replied Cheng. “I think that you as a student have to develop the skills to be successful in this world and that we need to provide you with the opportunity for discourse and debate and dialogue and academic inquiry, and I’m not sure that that is correlated with the notion of safe space as I’ve seen that.”
“President Cheng’s answers at the forum were insufficient,” the SAC stated, “and if she’s not ready or willing to engage in these serious conversations and more importantly work towards solutions, then we do feel her resignation is necessary.”
The group also announced a protest on Monday via Facebook.
“There have been too many micro aggressions,and [sic] bigoted actions that’s [sic] have taken place on campus and on social media that had [sic] threatened the safety and lively [sic] hood of our current student population and administration has done nothing about it,” insisted the SAC.
“Creating segregated spaces for different groups on our campus only [leads] to misunderstanding, distrust, and [reduces] the opportunity for discussion and engagement and education around diversity,” Kimberly Ott, president for media relations at NAU, told KPNX.
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