Santa Barbara- S County

UCSB's Student Senate Approves So-Called "Trigger Warning" Resolution

Caution Urged Before Use Of Distressing Course Materials

UCSB's Student Senate Approves So-Called "Trigger Warning

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - There is a push to warn college students at the University of California Santa Barbara whenever content in class might be considered disturbing.

UCSB's student senate recently passed a so-called "trigger warning" resolution, urging professors to caution students if the course materials might trigger distress.

History, film, art and political science students are arguably among those hammered the most with disturbing course material in class -- graphic details from the battle fields or explicit images of a sexual assault.

"Difficult things like the Holocaust or rape I think it's important to learn about," said freshman Hannah Mussey. "But I personally don't have any personal experience with that."

"This is a university and it's based on an exchange of knowledge, information flow, freedom of expression," said Sal Guerena, Director of California Ethnic and Multicultural Archves Special Collections Department. "As academia, this is part and parcel of what a university is all about."

The resolution, which is not mandatory, lists a series of triggers that include images or discussion of rape, sexual assault, suicide, pornography and graphic violence.

"The students should have the right to walk away from the class if there is come contradictory topic," said Prashanth Bhasker, a graduate student.

But some argue, you can't be tested on something you don't see or read. And that might trigger a different type of emotion for students able to stomach the unthinkable: resentment.

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