Politics & Policy

College Employs ‘Safe Space Marshals’ to Patrol Speeches for Offensive Content

(Photo: Nicolasmenijes/Dreamstime)
This has got to be one of the most insane things that I’ve ever heard.

King’s College in London is paying people £12 per hour to police speaking events on campus and take “immediate action” if they hear anything that might offend the audience.

The marshals also put up posters and hand out leaflets reminding all attendees that “this is a Safe Space.” Examples of speech that might violate the policy “could include derogatory comments about someone’s age, disability, marital or maternity or paternity status, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, trans status, socio-economic status, or ideology or culture,” according to an article in the Telegraph.

In addition to their pay, the marshals also receive benefits such as free spin classes and free fruit.

The Telegraph reports that not one, not two, but three of these marshals were present when Jacob Rees-Mogg, a conservative member of Parliament, spoke there earlier this month. He was no fan of the policy.

“It’s absolutely weird to send marshals to check the content of the speech by an elected member of Parliament,” he said.

The school’s Libertarian Society has also launched a campaign against the marshals — and the group’s president, Georgia Leigha, claims that it has been “surprisingly” popular. But Momin Saqib, president of the university’s students’ union, still insists that the safe-space policy was simply “protecting” students and speakers.

Listen: I’m all for being sensitive, but this has got to be one of the most insane things that I’ve ever heard. For one thing, the list of things that apparently can qualify as “offensive” or “discriminatory” in our politically correct culture seems to be growing by the day — hoop-earring-wearing white girls, trying to make people like the Beatles, and the size of classroom chairs have all been added to the list within the last eight months alone.

Just think about what kind of person would actually sign up to be ‘safe space marshal’ in the first place.

It seems like it could potentially be quite difficult to get through a speech at King’s College without saying or doing something that the marshals might deem offensive. After all, just think about what kind of person would actually sign up to be “safe space marshal” in the first place. Most likely, these are people who have an obsession with safe spaces and microaggressions, and at least enough sanctimonious arrogance to actually feel that they have the authority to police other people’s speech — in other words, the kind of people who are generally the most ridiculous when it comes to declaring the innocuous unacceptable.

Sure, Saquib may brag about how the marshals are “protecting” students from offensiveness, but honestly, if I were a student there, the thing I’d be most offended by would probably be the idea that I was unable to handle sitting through a speech without protection from insensitivity. The vast majority of these students are adults. What adult is not capable of existing in society without protection from hearing words they don’t like? I’m not sure I even want to know the answer to that.


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