Emory University is proud to announce that on January 1, 2019, all students will be required to download the new phone app, “Emory Cares.”
Designed to combat aggressive speech, Emory Cares has two main functions. First, Emory Cares disables the student’s phone from typing, texting, or emailing words Emory deems inappropriate for safe communication. Second, it makes it possible for all Emory students to follow the mandatory requirement to report aggressive speech as it occurs by simply pressing the Emory Cares icon. Additionally, when the icon is pressed the phone will go into record mode and document the offensive speech for future disciplinary proceedings.
As explained by Emory’s President, Claire E. Sterk, “This is a logical extension of the Permitted 200. First, we told students what they could say. Now, we will punish those that fail to comply. And we have made it very easy for Emory students to report all instances in which a student engages in speech designed to make another student uncomfortable. Emory Cares is one additional step towards making Emory a place where no one will ever feel challenged by an uncomfortable idea. And importantly, this step shows that once again, Emory is at the forefront of correct thought. We are the only school in America that has an app based reporting system for aggressive speech.”
Although the vast majority of Emory students have embraced Emory Cares, a small minority are protesting the fact that if a student observes aggressive speech and fails to press the icon he or she will also face discipline. As explained by Justin Tucker, the President for Emory Students for Free Speech (ESFS): “I hate to be the person that said ‘I told you so,’ but, ‘I told you so!’ There is a long tradition in Anglo Saxon law that, in most instances, a person is not required to take affirmative action to prevent events from occurring. So for example, if a person witnesses an individual that is about to harm another person, there is no affirmative duty to stop that harm from occurring. This new ‘duty to report’ is precisely the type of affirmative action that is contrary to Anglo Saxon tradition. This is one more step towards an Orwellian University. I’m asking all students to protest by buying a flip phone that does not support ‘Emory Cares.’”
President Sterk offered the following official response: “It’s sad that ESFS chooses the path of aggression. I wonder sometimes if its members might be happier somewhere else, in a school that is, perhaps, a little less Ivy League. I think any reasonable person will agree that this is a small price to pay to make Emory even more nurturing! I can’t wait to see the progress we make in 2019.”