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In defense of Millennials: How the 'coddled student' is a myth

Rini Sampath, USC's student body president, is seen.
Rini Sampath, USC's student body president, is seen.

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Whether demanding free speech, or racial equality, there's a rich history in America of college students calling for change.

In the last few years though, university students have also had to fight another battle: The perception that they require exceptional levels of coddling.

Reacting to their demands for everything from safe spaces, to trigger warnings, to micro aggressions, people ranging from President Barack Obama to Bill Maher have publicly called students out for being oversensitive.

But Rini Sampath, USC's student body president, disagrees. Her Huffington Post piece, "The Myth of the Coddled College Student," attempts to shatter this reputation. 

"I think it's a reaction to what has been going on across college campuses in America, and I think that the idea of a coddled college student is something that's distracting from the actual issues that are taking place," she said. "We should be paying attention to what is actually happening, and it's issues of discrimination that we need to be taking seriously."

Sampath faced such discrimination herself in September, when she had a racial insult spewed at her as she walked passed a fraternity house. She said seeing events unfold not only on USC's campus, but at other campuses around the nation, inspired her to get other generations to view Millennials in a different way.

"College students should be critical of the spaces that they inhabit," she said. "We should be thinking more about how we can make the places that we're around better."

To listen to the full interview, click on the blue audio player above.