While the concept of "safe spaces" for learning on college campuses has been mocked for coddling and infantilizing students, Wesleyan University president Michael Roth says protecting students from harassment and intimidation doesn't mean shielding them from uncomfortable or confrontational ideas. He argues for "safe enough spaces." His new book, subtitled "A Pragmatist's Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses" proposes creating environments where students feel heard and accepted, but also can participate in debates that challenge their beliefs.
Creating 'Safe Enough Spaces' on College Campuses
A 'safe enough safe,' according to Roth, protects students from harassment and intimidation while exploring uncomfortable or confrontational ideas. In the picture, California State University Fullerton students gather for a State of the Union watch party at the Dreamers Research center on campus on February 5, 2019. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Michael Roth, author, "Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist's Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses"; president, Wesleyan University