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A liberal education in Evergreen's College bubble

Paul Elliot
Creative Commons license
The Evergreen State College
Credit Evergreen State College
Professor Mike Paros

There’s a debate going on in American higher education about trigger warnings and safe spaces, orthodox thinking and free speech. Evergreen State College in Olympia became briefly famous in that debate in May 2017, when a discussion about campus equity spiraled into a true crisis, involving protests, counter-protests, death threats and neo-Nazis. Graduation had to be moved off campus because of safety concerns.

In the fall of 2018, the crisis has subsided, but it isn’t really over. Enrollment is down and the college is struggling financially. In the middle of all of this, Evergreen Professor Mike Paros is teaching a class called “Liberal Education in the College Bubble: Crossing the Political and Cultural Divide.” The class description openly states that "students who require 'ideological safe spaces' where certain viewpoints are considered to be offensive may want to seek a different program."

What's it like to teach a class like that, at a time like this? Listen to the story to find out.