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The University of Aberdeen Student Council supported a motion calling for “content warnings on all subjects that may cause harm to students.” The motion, put forward by student Ivana Drdáková from the Aberdeen Student Association’s Welfare Committee, states the warnings should be included in lectures, reading lists, and seminars.
Ms Drdáková argued that her fellow students should be shielded from unwanted references in subjects including racism, animal abuse, sexual abuse and harassment, drug and alcohol abuse as well as homophobia.
The motion read: “Recently there were multiple instances where University failed to provide content warnings in their communications.”
It continued: “Certain disciplines talk about difficult subjects without any precaution and safety net.
“Some schools use such content warnings to reduce the harm to students, and that content warnings are currently featured on some of the University website pages.”
The motion was passed last month – General students in lecture hall pictured (Image: Getty)
The Princess Royal received an honorary degree from Aberdeen University (Image: Getty)
Ms Drdákova, a fourth-year studying Scottish and English literature said the policy would help to safeguard students but would not result in important facts being censored.
She added: “Students are still going to be exposed to all the material, they will just be aware of what they can expect and prepare emotionally.
“We all need to be more accepting and aware of people surrounding us and their experiences and protect each other.”
Citing one example, she said: “As a literature student, you inevitably come across a piece of literature that contains distressing scenes, for example, harm to animals.
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The motion covers lectures and reading materials (Image: Getty)
“This is one of the things I do not like to read about.”
Minutes of the meeting concluded: “Council resolves to lobby the university to provide content warnings on all subjects that may cause harm to students in lecture materials, reading lists, seminars and other forms of communication.
“To provide a list of available resources every time-sensitive topics are discussed and content that requires warning is brought up.”
The University of Glasgow also provides its staff with “Content Advice Guidelines”.
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A University of Aberdeen spokesman said it was aware of the motion put forward by Ms Drdáková.
They added: “This is being reviewed but is still in very early-stage discussions and no decisions have been made at this stage.”