In the 1960’s college students who were dissatisfied with government officials and policies marched in the streets, took over campus buildings and disrupted political conventions. Today’s college students express their political outrage by running for “safe speech zones” and crying with therapists.
Boy, I miss those scruffy long-haired kids in their army fatigue jackets. You might not agree with their politics but you must admit they had, um, courage.
Sadly, many schools are accepting, even nurturing the delicacy of today’s young scholars. College administrators across the country tried to create a “safe space” for students who were struggling with their post-election feelings. In some cases, counselors offered “healing spaces” and meditation sessions to help students cope with Trump-related “trauma.” In some cases, professors canceled classes and exams. Therapy dogs were brought in. “Cry-ins” were organized.
Really? Yes, really. If you think this level of college coddling is excessive, you’re not alone. One state lawmaker is especially fed up.
Iowa Republican Bobby Kaufmann said he plans to introduce a bill this month to address universities’ use of tax dollars to fund these types of impromptu programs. The bill would be aimed at state universities that offer election-related counseling and events beyond the resources normally available to students. Colleges using taxpayer dollars to fund these extra programs would be subject to a budget cut for double the amount they spend. According to Kaufmann, this piece of legislation will be aptly named to describe his feelings on the issue. He’s calling it the “suck it up, buttercup bill.”
The Iowa lawmaker has received hundreds of emails of support from across the country since he made his stance clear. Kaufmann set up a website where supporters can “Adopt a Trump protester” and get a “suck it up, buttercup” hat for $17.76. Kaufmann hopes other states will pursue similar legislation.
And that could happen. The type of creative counseling that concerns Kaufmann extends beyond his home state. For instance, at the University of Michigan law school, a “Post-Election Self-Care with Food and Play” event was scheduled (and later canceled after Internet ridicule). The event promised students the chance to work out their Trump trauma by blowing bubbles, coloring, and sculpting with Play-Doh. Rumors are circulating that one school brought in ponies to help soothe students.
Kaufmann acknowledges that students are entitled to be upset; that they have the right to protest, and that they should have continued access to therapy and mental health services on campus. But the buck stops there for this lawmaker. Using taxpayer’s money for kid-glove treatment of burgeoning adults is going too far, in his book.
I agree. These young cupcakes should buy their own coloring books and pay for their own pony therapy.
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This proposal has been withdrawn by Rep. Bobby Kaufmann. After receiving significant press coverage for Kaufmann’s proposal, the events, such as what is described above, were canceled after a backlash of internet ridicule. According to Press-Citizen, a part of the USA Today Network, Kaufmann said he is now satisfied that neither the University of Iowa nor the University of Northern Iowa had crossed the line into what he calls “political coddling.”
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