The other day I read that my alma mater had declared the university a ‘safe zone’. “What the heck is a safe zone” I wondered to myself, so I read the article that went along with it. A safe zone is a program started by the LGBT community that declares areas to be free of from anyone who might question their lifestyle. It seems that my alma mater declared the whole campus a safe zone.
This made me think about when I was a child and played ‘Hide and Seek’. When the seeker espied a hider, if the hider could make it back to ‘base’ before being touched by the seeker, they were ‘safe’ from being captured. The base, or safe place, was usually the big maple tree in the backyard. In this game of imagination, nothing bad could happen at the big maple tree.
Yesterday, something totally shocking happened. One of the most liberal universities in America declared that there would be no ‘safe zone’ on their campus. The University of Chicago stated that creating a ‘safe zone’ would give people a false sense of security that does not exist in the real world. I was amazed that such a liberal institution would get it.
So is this campus wide maple tree of safety actually going to make it safe for everyone or is it nothing more than an imaginary sense of security? If a person cannot speak out with their views whether they be about a chosen lifestyle; political ideology; religious beliefs; or even something simple as food choices; does that spark conversation and better understanding of others, or does it stifle conversation and create more misunderstanding and possibly animosity? Once students leave the campus, will the real world be too harsh for them to cope?