I Was Against The Safe Spaces, Until I Wanted To Ask For One

I Was Against The Safe Spaces, Until I Wanted To Ask For One

A first had university experience.
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Northwestern University, Illinois. The auditorium filled with journalism student and a respected faculty representative took the stage. From the beginning to the end of lecture, he was clearly and doubtlessly expressing a political propaganda, and we all had to listen.

It all started with the readings provided for us to read before the lecture, which included The New York Times’ article about Donald Trump as a presidential candidate. The mentioned article showed a clear disapproval of the Republican candidate and would by any means be considered biased. The following article commenting on The New York Times’ article approved the media bias, and my professor in the morning lecture agreed with it and argued that the article shows “necessary bias” which newspaper of today are “forced” to incorporate in their work. The whole lecture was more of a political speech, since professors included phrases claiming that media companies were never threatened as they are today and suggesting that Donald Trump is an enemy of journalists since he makes people trust media less. On the other hand, the lecture itself wasn’t productive and had no significant influence on our course progress.

As an international student in the United States, I’m not interested in the upcoming elections because I don’t think that they can in any way change my status here, and I’m not allowed to vote. Some may argue that I should be concerned with the wellbeing of the US citizens, but seeing that a big number of American citizens aren’t even aware of the existence of my country, I will jump over this hypothetical argument. The point here doesn’t have anything to with the substance of the lecture, but with the context. The lecturing professor could have chosen to talk about his political opinions at any time, by organizing a small workshop with interested students, but this was a mandatory lecture and promotion of media bias made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Going one step further, one would consider this to be a case of misuse of power and trust since university professors hold a lot of authority in the eyes of their students.

Northwestern University’s dean recently addressed the need for safe spaces implementation into the school’s policy and strongly opposed University of Chicago’s controversial letter. In the beginning, I had a negative opinion about the safe spaces policy, but after the lecture in which I sat silent and desperately waited for the class to end, I realized how important safe spaces can be. Unfortunately, I wasn’t offered a safe space during the lecture, and none of the other students were either.

Media bias is a topic which I, as a journalist in making, am sensitive about. Take for example this Time’s article reporting on Syria, Iran and Russia as “axes of evil”. Some would call it freedom of the press, but others (including myself) would consider it to be more of a war propaganda and as a student coming from a war-torn country it is an issue I deeply care about. So, if “necessary bias” is a new journalistic method to be used in the US presidential elections, who can argue that every country’s mainstream media won’t publish what they consider to be “necessary bias” and how far away will we be from new conflicts being a new product of this reporting “technique”.

Media and universities hold a huge roll in forming citizens’ opinions and if they voluntarily become opinionated political figures, my question is “who is putting US democracy in danger,” and “who can people search for when being dedicated to form their own opinions based on bias free information?”

Cover Image Credit: Northwestern University/ BSJ program

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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8 Types Of People Fetuses Grow Into That 'Pro-Lifers' Don't Give 2.5 Shits About

It is easy to fight for the life of someone who isn't born, and then forget that you wanted them to be alive when you decide to hate their existence.

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For those in support of the #AbortionBans happening all over the United States, please remember that the unborn will not always be a fetus — he or she may grow up to be just another person whose existence you don't support.

The fetus may grow up to be transgender — they may wear clothes you deem "not for them" and identify in a way you don't agree with, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them a mentally unstable perv for trying to use the bathroom.

The fetus may grow up to be gay — they may find happiness and love in the arms of someone of the same gender, and their life will mean nothing to you when you call them "vile" and shield your children's eyes when they kiss their partner.

The fetus may grow up and go to school — to get shot by someone carrying a gun they should have never been able to acquire, and their life will mean nothing to you when your right to bear arms is on the line.

The fetus may be black — they may wear baggy pants and "look like a thug", and their life will mean nothing to you when you defend the police officer who had no reason to shoot.

The fetus may grow up to be a criminal — he might live on death row for a heinous crime, and his life will mean nothing to you when you fight for the use of lethal injection to end it.

The fetus may end up poor — living off of a minimum wage job and food stamps to survive, and their life will mean nothing to you when they ask for assistance and you call them a "freeloader" and refuse.

The fetus may end up addicted to drugs — an experimentation gone wrong that has led to a lifetime of getting high and their life will mean nothing to you when you see a report that they OD'd and you make a fuss about the availability of Narcan.

The fetus may one day need an abortion — from trauma or simply not being ready, and her life will mean nothing to you as you wave "murderer" and "God hates you" signs as she walks into the office for the procedure.

* * *

Do not tell me that you are pro-life when all of the above people could lose their lives in any way OUTSIDE of abortion and you wouldn't give 2.5 shits.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is gay or trans, you will berate them for who they are or not support them for who they love.

You fight for the baby to be born, but if he or she is poor or addicted, you will refuse the help they desperately need or consider their death a betterment of society.

You fight for the baby to be born, but when the used-to-be-classroom-of-fetuses is shot, you care more about your access to firearms than their lives.

It is easy to pretend you care about someone before they are even born, and easy to forget their birth was something you fought for when they are anything other than what you consider an ideal person.

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