Condoleeza Rice Drops Out As Rutgers Commencement Speaker - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Condoleeza Rice Drops Out As Rutgers Commencement Speaker

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New Brunswick, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Condoleeza Rice has decided not to speak at this year’s Rutgers’ graduation ceremony.

Rice made the announcement on Facebook where she wrote: “Commencement should be a time of joyous celebration for the graduates and their families. Rutgers' invitation to me to speak has become a distraction for the university community at this very special time.”

Student organizers along with a handful of professors had initiated the opposition of having Rice speak during graduation. “This has nothing to do with partisan politics whatsoever, it has to do with human rights violations including the use of chemical weapons in Fullujah, the infant mortality rate in Iraq, the representation that she made of Iraq itself to the American public,” Rutgers senior Sherif Ibrahim said.

Yesterday morning the university’s President Barchi met with eight students about the situation including Sophomore Sara Zayad.

“We wanted to move past Condoleeza Rice and we wanted to discuss more about how the selection of the commencement speaker can be inclusive of all communities at Rutgers and we were only given half-an-hour to the minute,” she said.

President Barchi sent out a statement to the Rutgers Community saying: “While Rutgers University stands fully behind the invitation to Dr. Rice to be our commencement speaker and receive an honorary degree; we respect the decision she made and clearly articulated in her statement this morning.”

While the invitation to Rice has outraged some students on campus, others like Amanda say that this situation is an embarrassment to Rutgers and Dr. Rice should be respected for her role in history.

“I honestly think it’s just embarrassing, we pride ourselves on being a tolerant community and could have someone slightly politically charged come speak at our graduation,” she said.

Matt Rooney with the SaveJersey blog chimed in to discuss what this means for the school.

“Listen, we hear so much from the left about diversity, about tolerance, about anti-bullying and apparently all that stuff only applies if it’s a Democrat or a Liberal being bullied. It’s a real problem for me that I’m subsidizing not what looks like a university, but a Liberal think-tank, it’s embarrassing,” he said.

Rutgers has since announced that former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean will be this year’s new commence speaker.


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