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Student accused of violating university’s ‘safe place’ rules by raising her hand

University of Edinburgh Photo: Russell McNeil/Flickr/Creative Commons

University of Edinburgh, not a ‘safe place’ for any who disagree with the extreme left. Photo: Russell McNeil/Flickr/Creative Commons

An article in The Telegraph exposes the bizarre culture permeating universities not only in England but in North America as well.

Imogen Wilson is a student at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh. She also serves the student council as vice president of academic affairs.

She recently spoke of how students on the extreme political left tried to have her kicked out of a council meeting because she dared to raise her hand.

Imogen Wilson, academic Photo: Imogen Wilson/The Telegraph

Imogen Wilson, vice president academic affairs, University of Edinburgh Photo: Imogen Wilson/The Telegraph

The student association has instituted a bizarro rule called the “safe place environment.” This policy sets out to create a ‘safe space’ where people are protected from anyone disagreeing with them, specifically:

“refraining from hand gestures which denote disagreement,” or “in any other way indicating disagreement with a point or points being made.”

People are only allowed to use gestures showing agreement.

The problems started shortly after Imogen made a presentation disagreeing with those wanting to institute a policy to boycott Israel. Imogen opposes this because it leads to antisemitism which creates an unsafe place for Jews — note the contradiction.

In a column for the campus newspaper, Imogen wrote:

“I am deeply concerned about the marginalization of Jewish and Israeli students on campus, and will continue to do everything I can to fight this. We cannot let our students take the brunt of people’s anger towards the Israeli government.”

Imogen believes her views on this subject set the stage for what was to follow as those opposing her views tried to shut her down.

At the meeting one person accused Imogen of not responding to a letter sent to the council. Imogen had the audacity to raise her hand to address the issue. She simply wanted to tell council members that she had tried to respond but was unable to track down contact information for the person to do so.

However, when she raised her hand, she was immediately accused of challenging the person making the individual presumably ‘feel’ unsafe. Another then called for a vote to expel Imogen because she was breaking the ‘safe space’ rules.

Though council defeated the the motion 33 to 18, incredibly nearly 40% of the people voted to have her kicked out.

Later, when she shook her head in disagreement on another issue, she was again threatened with a complaint, but noted that while she was making her presentation opposing a boycott of Israel a number of people were shaking their heads, but none were censured.

Imogen said the safe space movement has become a tool of those on the left to shut down any who disagree with them. The safe space policy was never intended to stifle “free speech” but that is what it being used to do.

The council would eventually approve a motion to boycott Israel.

Charlie Peters a student at University of Edinburgh started an online petition challenging the absurdity of rules. The petitions says students are adults and should be mature enough to handle people disagreeing with them.

If these represent some of the future leaders of our brave new world, God help us. There seems to be little room for any who disagree with their extreme mantra.


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