Still, some who recognize this fact think that prefacing something with a trigger warning somehow disrupts the intellectual experience of reading or viewing it. As the DP editorial put it, “It is sometimes deemed necessary for students to experience visceral reactions to the material with which they come into contact. The purpose of such material is to be taken by surprise, offended and even, at times, disturbed.”
This statement shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between being surprised or offended and being traumatized. Furthermore, it exposes the unsettling fact that many people out there genuinely care more about some assumed abstract “true academic experience” than the safety of students.
A year sounds like a long time, but it took me most of that time to find a working medical treatment. Then, I had to address my classes or risk not being able to declare my major. In order to receive medical clearance, I had to mediate between my clinician and the Counseling and Psychological Services staff, who evaluated my current health status. I spent a lot of time making repeated calls, emails and campus visits to ensure the various conditions set by Penn for my return were met, and frequently worried about my ability to come back.
What’s really telling is when you look at the compensation per $1 million in total expenditures for each institution. Gee was paid $1,332, Zimmer received $1,113 and Gutmann $376.