The University campus was once a hotbed for radical political protest. Students used to engage in hunger strikes and anti-war demonstrations, fighting for what they perceived to be genuine threats to peace and freedom. But student activism has changed somewhat since those heady days of the 1960s. From controversial speakers to sombreros and stand-up comedians, today’s students seem to need protection from just about everything that offends them. It would appear they now need protection from the printed word.
Officials at the Oxford Student Union are planning to create a Student Consultancy of Sensitivity Readers. Under plans voted in by the student council, an elected group of people will be paid to scour the university’s newspapers and remove from publication anything they find “insensitive”.