This Hashtag Is Blowing up on Social Media

November 12th 2015

Laura Donovan

#NationalOffendACollegeStudentDay is trending on social media following highly publicized protests over racism at the University of Missouri and Yale University's recent political correctness controversy.

Yale University came under fire after an administrator responded—in what some say was an insensitive way—to an initial email reminding students to be mindful of racially insensitive costumes on Halloween, stoking the argument over free speech and college campuses. Earlier this week, University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe resigned after students and members of the community criticized the way he has handled racial issues on campus and called for his resignation.


Protests at Mizzou and other college campuses have been in the news all week, and critics have taken to social media to express disagreement with this activism and argue that college students are too sensitive to deal with the real world.

Here are some #NationalOffendACollegeStudentDay posts:

In separate essays the New Yorker's Jelani Cobb and author Roxane Gay, writing for the New Republic, examined the relationship between free speech, student activism, and the current protests that are spreading across college campuses.

"The freedom to offend the powerful is not equivalent to the freedom to bully the relatively disempowered," Cobb writes. "The enlightenment principles that undergird free speech also prescribed that the natural limits of one’s liberty lie at the precise point at which it begins to impose upon the liberty of another."

In her essay Gay sums up the importance of student activism as a whole: "In the protests at Mizzou and Yale and elsewhere, students have made it clear that the status quo is unbearable," Gay writes. "Whether we agree with these student protesters or not, we should be listening: They are articulating a vision for a better future, one that cannot be reached with complacency."