In an open letter, Wellesley college’s faculty shared its plan to shelter students from guest speakers that cause them distress. Exposure to new ideas is a keystone of education according to Alexis Zhang of the Boston Herald. She expresses concern over what she sees as stifling open-minded college debate. Zhang argues that being made uncomfortable is what encourages the kind of political discourse that allows theories to clash and perspectives to grow. By cutting off speakers that it doesn't agree with the faculty robs its students of a crucial learning opportunity.
The Wellesley faculty notes that bullying and expressing opinions are not the same thing. They voice concern for students being exposed to bullying behaviour under the guise of free speech. Past guest speakers have actively inflamed tempers, spreading racist, sexist and bigoted ideas. Such behaviour only limits productive debate, which the faculty actively encourages. It wrote the letter in response to students expressing concern over guest speakers instigating distress. Choosing academically qualified guest speakers ensures that students can grow intellectually.