Culture

So, Campus Crime Alerts Have Trigger Warnings Now

Discouraging people from reading crime alerts is such a good way to protect them!

The University of Iowa put a trigger warning on a campus crime alert about a Peeping Tom on the loose  – because reading “a report of sexual misconduct” could potentially make some students upset.

Yes, seriously.

According to an article in the Tab, a female student reported that an intruder had been filming her in the shower. The campus police came, saw a man hiding in a bathroom stall, and tried to arrest him, but he ran away.

Of course, the only way to ensure that he isn’t able to do this to another student is to catch him, so you’d think the school’s top priority would be to make sure that happened as soon as possible.

Nope. The school’s top priority was to make sure that no one on campus had to read something that made them feel uncomfortable — even if that meant putting the safety of other students at risk.

After all, before getting to see the important information about the criminal on campus, the student is greeted with: “Trigger Warning: This warning addresses a report of sexual misconduct. Resources are available on and off campus to provide assistance. Contact RVAP for 24/7 support at (319) 335-6000 or at http://rvap.uiowa.edu/.”

This is objectively counterproductive. After all, more people knowing that this guy is out there means more people will be looking for him. By discouraging students from reading the alert, the university is tangibly reducing the chance that this man will be caught — and increasing the chance that another student will be violated.

This is insane.

#share#When I think about feeling “safe,” the place that usually comes to mind is my apartment. When I’m there, I can do cool, safe things . . . like take a shower without someone filming me. Sure, sometimes I also read about bad things on the Internet while I’m there, but believe it or not, I feel like that is way less of a big deal than seeing someone filming me while I am taking a shower.

As Reason’s Robby Soave asks:“Do administrators want safe spaces for their students, or do they want them to actually be safe?”

#related#Unfortunately, it’s seeming more and more like the former. Just yesterday, I wrote about students at the Claremont University Consortium’s being angry that the school warned them about reports of someone on campus’ drugging students’ drinks — because it’s offensive and “rape culture” to tell people to be vigilant, and the only thing we should be doing is telling rapists to stop raping. It doesn’t matter if you have information or advice that women can use to protect themselves from an attack . . . the very act of giving it is a sort of attack in itself.

Oddly enough, these people — the trigger-warning-happy — see themselves as the heroes in the war on “rape culture” . . . apparently not noticing how their own philosophy and actions could potentially increase the chance of more people becoming victims.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online

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