The Vice President praised Notre Dame, one of the nation’s most prominent Catholic universities, as “a vanguard of freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas.” This was all while several dozen graduating students exited the graduation ceremony.
— Summer Ratcliff (@SummerRatcliff) May 21, 2017
Students walked out of the Notre Dame commencement ceremony on Sunday in protest of Vice President Mike Pence, who delivered the speech.
“While this institution has maintained an atmosphere of civility and open debate, far too many campuses across America have become characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration-sanctioned political correctness — all of which amounts to nothing less than suppression of the freedom of speech,” Pence said. “These all-too-common practices are destructive of learning and the pursuit of knowledge, and they are wholly outside the America tradition.”
Luis Miranda, 29, a protestor who graduated from a master’s program at Notre Dame, said the students who walked out opposed Mr. Pence’s role in the Trump administration as well as his record as an Indiana congressman and governor, when he opposed admitting Syrian refugees and rights for unauthorized immigrants and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“Of course we welcome and support free speech on campus,” Mr. Miranda said. “But commencement is not a moment for academic exchange or political dialogue. It’s a celebration of all of our hard work.”
“If it was just five of us, we would have thought we were successful because we were doing the right thing,” Mr. Miranda said. “The fact that so many people showed up was mind-blowing.”