Political Insider

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State lawmaker takes aim at 'safe space' at Georgia college

Administrators at Columbus State University quickly discovered the pitfall of creating a "safe space" initiative on campus. They ran afoul of a prominent Republican who doesn't like them.

The school shuttered the program, which involved fliers distributed to denote rooms that were a "safe space" to allow students to talk about their concerns, shortly after it was launched in the middle of the spring 2017 semester.

The safe spaces were immediately noted by Fox News and other conservative news outlets -- which caught the attention of state Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, who chairs the higher education appropriations committee in the House.

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports that he fired off an email to John Lester, a CSU vice president, calling the program 'ill named."

More from the Ledger-Enquirer:

But he said in the email that he was especially concerned with projects that purport to promote diversity on campus. He said the terms diversity and inclusion in the campus context “have no bearing on the actual dictionary definition. They are words to hide the utter bigotry and non-inclusiveness of the academics who use them.”

He told the newspaper he wasn't singling out the university, which he said does a "better job than most."  Ehrhart added:

“I think the university did right by going on and changing what they were talking about. Anybody can be a counselor for anyone who is going through a difficult time. Imagine if you provided counseling to a young Christian individual … a lot of these leftists on campus would rather you provide counseling to a terrorist than a young Christian. What Columbus has done is say this is inclusive now for everyone,” he said.


“That’s the problem I have with these safe spaces, they’re full of people who are so weak, they can’t have their ideas challenged.”

Insider's note: This item was ripped from the morning's Daily Jolt, which you can find here.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.