How colleges should not respond to mass catastrophes: Shapiro

May 9, 2019

Following the recent attacks in Sri Lanka, an American college told its students that counselling services would be available to anybody who was upset by the news, reports Judith Shapiro. The author finds this approach troubling because the college did not try to determine if any individual students might have had direct ties to the Sri Lankan communities that were attacked; instead, the college catered to anybody who might find the news unsettling. Such an approach reinforces the stereotype of student fragility at the same time as it implicitly tells students to think about themselves first, argues Shapiro, who concludes that universities should instead provide students with reliable sources of information, such as faculty experts, in the event of a mass crisis. Inside Higher Ed (International)