The University of Florida, a publicly funded school, has to use risk assessments to help plan student events, because apparently adults can't be trusted to behave themselves on their own.
The assessment is part of a process students must go through in order to obtain a permit to host an event on campus. In addition to any possible "physical" or school "reputation" concerns, the form, sent to MRCTV in an email, includes a checklist of possible “emotional risk" that the event might cause, including “sensitive subject matter,” “potential controversy” and “reaction of participants.”
The school claims they use the form partially to help determine whether additional staffing is needed to keep protests from getting out of control.
“More than 1,100 registered student organizations operate on the University of Florida campus.UF’s role is to help students stage a successful and safe event," a UF spokesperson told MRCTV in an email.
"Additionally, protests are an inevitable part of many events. UF students represent every continent, religion, political party, race, and ethnicity. The First Amendment protects all points of view. That means we work very hard to ensure the speaker’s, audience’s and potential protester’s rights to free speech are upheld," she added. "We ask questions to ensure we are supporting our students’ events with an appropriate level of resources. We will make some adjustments to the questions based on the feedback we have received.”
But this is a university, a place where adults who are old enough to drive, vote or even head off to war go to further their education. Why are protests now considered "inevitable"? Are students reacting so aggressively to every opinion that is not their own that the school must now use risk assessments to keep grown adults from going off the rails?
Granted, this is the same university that encouraged students to report offensive Halloween costumes last October, so perhaps we shouldn't be surprised.