Earlier this week, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice withdrew as the Speaker for the commencement ceremonies scheduled to take place at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Her decision came after a group of students and faculty protested her selection on campus on the grounds that they “disagreed with Rice’s involvement in the George W. Bush Administration’s invasion of Iraq”.
Given the situation, Rice thought it best to voluntarily step aside as the speaker to avoid partisan division on campus.
Her decision to resign however triggered a response from many student groups lead by the school’s College Republicans blaming Rice’s withdrawal on a “hostile campus environment”.
As a College Republican at a state-run school with a liberal bias on campus a few states away, it greatly troubled me that liberal students and faculty would protest a selection so loudly that the Secretary Rice no longer felt comfortable attending the ceremony simply because they disagree with her politics.
Some comfort is given in the fact that the University picked former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean who is also a republican, to speak in Rice’s place, showing that the school wasn’t too pressured to chose a non-political speaker.
One would like to think that our society is mature enough to participate in political discourse and that the graduates of Rutgers would like to hear from a former Secretary of State regardless of where she falls on the political spectrum.
It is troubling indeed when former statesmen and women are muted in their retirement for fear of offending one political side or the other, and the situation at Rutgers is a sign of the times.
Views expressed are not put forth or endorsed by Red Millennial.