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Commence This, MOFO!

David Bernstein over at the VC posts about his own undergraduate commencement, apropos this little incident from Hofstra earlier this week. Got me thinking, so I thought Id share a little bit about last years Honors College commencement.

There were three speakers, all students, and each one delivered no less than five minutes of pure leftist agit-prop. Okay, to be perfectly fair, two were hard-left propaganda and the other was mostly just annoying liberal bleating. From what I understand, the denizens of Chapman hall approved the speeches beforehand. They were all about the Iraq War, the War on Terror, or the USA PATRIOT act, not a damn word about graduation or going forward into the future, or whatever the hell commencement speeches are supposed to be about in the lot of them. The Frohns mediocre dissembling about graduates being the future of America was, quite honestly, a welcome reprieve from the obnoxious political tripe. Now, before you get all antsy and say that Id be just fine with it had it been moderate-libertarian propaganda, let me just say for the record that no, that is not the case. A graduation ceremony is not an appropriate forum for political expression to a captive audience. Incidents like last years HC graduation, and what Im sure will be the fiasco at my own commencement in June, are enough to make me never want to donate money to this school.

  1. WWB says:

    We had a big debate about this (the Doctorow incident) at work yesterday, and I was pretty surprised this didn’t break down neatly along ideological lines. If there was any split, it was a ruthlessly partisan minority who thought politically-oriented commencement speeches were fine. But because I also agree with Tim, I guess I’ll just leave it at that.

  2. John says:

    I agree with Timothy as well. I graduated from the HC last year and had to sit through that ceremony. The political rants were more than a little ridiculous, and you could see that most of the audience (parents and family, etc.) was uncomfortable with the speech topics. I’ve always thought that graduation ceremonies are more for the parents and family than for the actual graduates, so I hope this year the HC authorizes speeches that celebrate the family’s support of the graduate rather than celebrate a specific ideology.

  3. Matt says:

    I totally agree with Timothy here. Abusing the priviledge of being asked to give a commencement speech is just wrong. When these people start speaking they think they are speaking the utter truth, no ifs ands or buts about it. I would not like to hear about someones political viewpoint during my ceremony. Actions like this never give both sides of an argument and, as pointed out by Tim, usually have nothing to do with actually graduating. Sure, the war on terror, Patriot act and a lot of other things are important, don’t get me wrong, but I came to graduate, not get a poly-sci lecture. The ceremony should be inclusive of all, which means NO politics. Speakers need to realize that they are being asked to speak because they have the traits and skills (hopefully) of a good speaker, not because the people choosing them think they can tell the students graduating what they need to be told regarding politics.

  4. Timothy says:

    I expected that some kids might have some sense of decorum, it seems I was sadly mistaken.

  5. Sucka Free Sundays says:

    Serves you right for going to that no-good dippy hippie school in the first place. Is this not what you expected to see?

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