Earlier this month, I wrote an article for Time Ideas on the intellectual environment on campus today, Dear Universities: There Should Be No Safe Spaces From Intellectual Thought. Here is the first paragraph:

As the 2014-2015 academic year winds down, the legacy from this year might be a new low standard in intellectual engagement on college campuses. The proliferation of “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings,” and other efforts to protect students from uncomfortable, inconvenient, or new ideas marks an alarming trend.

The current trend in terms of the lack of intellectual diversity and engagement on campus is troubling. If you are unfamiliar, please take a minute to read these two other articles.

Here’s a paragraph from a piece by Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post, Trigger warnings, colleges, and the “Swaddled Generation”:

It seems that mostly conservative sites and writers are concerned with the increasingly draconian suppression of free speech on college campuses. But then, it is mostly conservative writers and speakers who are treated as though they’re bringing the Ebola virus rather than contrarian ideas to the sensitive ears of what we may as well name the “Swaddled Generation.”

Add Peggy Noonan adds her commentary, The Trigger-Happy Generation, in the Wall Street Journal:

There is no such thing as safety. That is asking too much of life. You can’t expect those around you to constantly accommodate your need for safety. That is asking too much of people.

Life gives you potentials for freedom, creativity, achievement, love, all sorts of beautiful things, but none of us are “safe.” And you are especially not safe in an atmosphere of true freedom. People will say and do things that are wrong, stupid, unkind, meant to injure. They’ll bring up subjects you find upsetting. It’s uncomfortable. But isn’t that the price we pay for freedom of speech?

You can ask for courtesy, sensitivity and dignity. You can show others those things, too, as a way of encouraging them. But if you constantly feel anxious and frightened by what you encounter in life, are we sure that means the world must reorder itself? Might it mean you need a lot of therapy?

Masterpieces, by their nature, pierce. They jar and unsettle. If something in a literary masterpiece upsets you, should the masterpiece really be banished? What will you be left with when all of them are gone?

What in your upbringing told you that safety is the highest of values? What told you it is a realistic expectation? Who taught you that you are entitled to it every day? Was your life full of . . . unchecked privilege? Discuss.

We should all be aware of this phenomenon because as Parker quoted Purdue University President Mitch Daniels in her article:

“If universities want to embarrass themselves with their behavior, allowing people to be shouted down or disinvited, that’s their problem. But if they’re spawning a bunch of little authoritarians with an inverted view of our basic freedoms, that’s everybody’s problem.”


Conservative Commencement Addresses

We are wrapping up graduation season. Unlike last year, when speakers like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Condoleezza Rice were protested, the speaker choices haven’t sparked protests this year. For those of you who weren’t satisfied with the commencement speech you heard, pick up a copy of Remembering Who We Are: A Treasury of Conservative Commencement Addresses. The […]

May 22, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →

Announcing Kirsten Powers Will be Speaking at the National Conference

We have exciting news! The Network of enlightened Women (NeW) is pleased to announce Kirsten Powers will be speaking at our 2015 National Conference June 25-26th at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. Kirsten Powers is a journalist, political analyst, columnist for USA Today, Newsweek and the Daily Beast, Fox News contributor, and now author of the […]

May 20, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →

You’re Invited June 9: Speed Networking Night!

Want to expand your professional network? Not sure how to effectively “network”? Need more practice on your elevator pitch? When you only have 60 seconds to impress a future employer, every second counts. The Network of enlightened Women (NeW) invites professionals to join us at the Madhatter on Tuesday, June 9th at 6 pm for NeW Speed […]

May 20, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →

Intern Spotlight: Krista Chavez

 Starting this week, we have a new intern! Here is some information about her: Krista Chavez is an intern with NeW. Krista was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, and she is currently a rising sophomore at American University (AU) in Washington DC. At AU, she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communications, Legal […]

May 20, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →

May 15 Deadline: Young Women’s Leadership Retreat

The Application deadline (May 15) is quickly approaching for the 2015 Young Women’s Leadership Retreat to be held July 30-August 2. This leadership program welcomes rising college freshmen (starting in the fall 2015) women to a four-day conference retreat, which includes academic sessions, a keynote address, campus leadership training, and outdoor adventures. During the Retreat, students will […]

May 4, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →

Congratulations Antonia Okafor

The Network of enlightened Women (NeW) would like to congratulate UT-Dallas’ Chapter Founder Antonia Okafor for being selected as one of Running Start’s three finalists to become the next Political Rising Star and receive a $5,000 grant. Running Start is a nonprofit organization that, “provides young women and girls with the skills and confidence they need […]

April 24, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →

Leader Spotlight: Antonia Okafor

We like to take the time to highlight some of the amazing women involved with NeW. Today, we feature an interview with Antonia Okafor, NeW president at University of Texas at Dallas.   Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became involved in NeW? I am a current Public Affairs graduate student […]

April 20, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →

Commentary on The Mommy Track

Time has a new piece out today on work-life balance, There’s Nothing Wrong with the Mommy Track. In it, Rachel Simmons writes: Our culture sings in only two keys about how successful women manage motherhood and work: either you’re driving a hard line to the C-suite, parking the crib in your corner office, or you’re […]

April 20, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →

Book Brunch with Elizabeth Kantor

We still have a few spots available for our Book Brunch with Elizabeth Kantor, author of The Jane Austen Guide to Happily Ever After, on Saturday, April 18th at Firefly in DC. You can RSVP here. Join us! Here is a blurb about her book: “What a wonderful book! Elizabeth Kantor writes with immense sense and […]

April 15, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →

There’s More Fiction Than Fact to Equal Pay Day

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day that supposedly marks how far into 2015 women must work to earn what men did in 2014. Read my U.S. News and World Report article, There’s More Fiction Than Fact to Equal Pay Day. What do you think of Equal Pay Day?

April 14, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →

Save the Date: June 25-26

Save the date for the 10th Annual NeW National Conference! When: June 25-26, 2015 Where: The Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC Special Keynote Speaker to be announced soon.

April 6, 2015 0 comments CONTINUE READING THIS POST →