Two weeks ago, my Alliance Defense Fund colleague Casey Mattox noted an amusing and ridiculous expansion of “safe zones” at Penn State Erie’s Behrend College. “Safe zones” are a joke all by themselves, implying as they do that LGBTQ students aren’t really “safe” on campus unless someone puts a rainbow sticker on their office door or cubicle wall. Behrend College, however, must have faced a rash of violence directed at students toting Whole Foods canvas shopping bags and carrying copies of God Is Not Great. The school expanded its “Safe Zone” to include vegetarians and atheists:
Unlike more visible underrepresented groups on college campuses, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning students, atheists, vegetarians, etc., cannot be easily identified.
Today, Casey reports that the campus crisis must have passed. The college has knocked vegetarians and atheists off the “safe” list and no longer protects them with the awesome power of the rainbow sticker. Just wait until the campus vegetarian community turns their carrot-enhanced gaze on this outrage! Will they arm themselves to guard against the roving campus bands of anti-vegan thugs? Surely there’s a campus Christian militia out there that’s just been waiting for this moment.
Is this an example of a college coming to its senses and walking back just a tiny bit from absurd political correctness? Or is it a declaration that it’s “open season” against the tiny and embattled vegetarian and atheist communities? Five years from now, will a shattered campus finally and desperately reach for its discarded stack of stickers? Only time will tell.