Cornell University: Student Assembly Resolution Requiring Trigger Warnings


Cornell University

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FIRE Victory closed

On March 23, 2023, Cornell University’s Student Assembly adopted a resolution that would require faculty to warn students of potentially triggering content before teaching it. The resolution defines “triggering content” as including “but not limited to” topics such as “sexual assault, domestic violence, self-harm, suicide, child abuse, racial violence, transphobic violence, homophobic harassment, etc.” FIRE wrote Cornell on March 29 urging it not to implement such an overbroad and vague policy that countermands the university’s commitment to free speech and violates faculty academic freedom rights to determine how to approach potentially controversial material in the classroom. On April 3, Cornell released a statement refusing to implement the policy, citing its commitments to academic freedom and open inquiry.