What This Commencement Speaker Said In Response To Students’ “Arrogant Demands” Is Brilliant

In a move even the left-leaning Daily Beast called “silly,” a Rutgers University protest earlier this month led to a former Secretary of State scrapping a planned speech on campus.

This is just one example of the shortsighted activism among some college students that results in less exposure to alternate and valuable points of view. For his part, former Princeton University President William Bowen has apparently had enough.

In a commencement speech at Haverford College this weekend, he called some in the audience “immature” for protests against a planned speaker who subsequently dropped out of the event.

Reports indicate dozens of students – along with three professors – joined in the protest against former University of California Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau.

During a 2011 demonstration by leftist Occupy protesters on the UCB campus, police used force to disperse an unruly crowd. Those opposing Birgeneau’s appearance at Haverford – where he was set to receive an honorary degree – felt he did not respond appropriately to law enforcement’s action.

In order to make things right, the group contended, he would have to not only apologize and advocate reparations for the Occupy protesters; the former administrator would also be required to write a letter to Haverford College detailing what he learned from the experience.

Such an ultimatum obviously did not sit well with Birgeneau, who penned a letter to protesters – but not the one they demanded. In his email, he not only informed the school he would not be attending the ceremony; he also unequivocally objected to all of the protester’s conditions.

Speaking directly to the student body from which the protest arose, Bowen explained why the incident was damaging to the entire college.

“I am disappointed that those who wanted to criticize Birgeneau’s handling of events at Berkeley chose to send him such an intemperate list of ‘demands,’” he said. “In my view, they should have encouraged him to come and engage in a genuine discussion, not to come, tail between his legs, to respond to an indictment that a self-chosen jury had reached without hearing counterarguments.”

Bowen also defended the former chancellor for responding with his own discordant response.

He said the invited guest failed to “make proper allowance for the immature and, yes, arrogant inclinations of some protesters.”

The speaker added Birgeneau “had every right to be” upset, concluding “he should be with us today.”

In what could be seen as evidence the protesters represented a small – but vocal – minority of the school’s population, Bowen’s excoriation received an enthusiastic standing ovation from attendees.

Photo Credit: Jackbauerinvc (Creative Commons)

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

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  1. MuslimLuvChrist says:

    It’s always a loud mouth liberal minority that has to ruin things for the majority. Arrest the protestors the day before and of the event, until the event is over, fire any facility involved in the protest, and restore some order to our Universities.

    • Edwardkoziol says:

      My method would be similar to yours only I would have the police Taz the shit out of them then throw their ases in jail. But the real villian is the school for letting these goons gettheir way.If I were president of a college and the so called professors instigated the weak minded students to cause trouble they'd be looking for a new job.

  2. Edwardkoziol says:

    Isn't it amaziing that a few dickhead students and liberal commie profs can dictate who is to be heard for commencement ceremonies.It's no more majority rules it is the few who get their way.Only in America We should have Putin in charge of our education system

  3. oldtimered says:

    In the late 60's and early 70's the communists and radicals got the upper hand because the administrators and no backbone. The rest of us suffered. Now these radicals are in charge in many colleges and government bureaucracies. Columbia University is basically run by the communist party; which settled there from Germany in the late 1920's. Nazi's and communists don't mix well. They both are basically the same but won't share the spoils of their corruption, so the commies came here. Now we have to take or childrens educational rights back. We can not send decent American children to higher education and get heathen seculerists returned to us. Pray for the USA.

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