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Speaker ignores students’ wishes

Letters to the Editor | Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Unlike Joanna Cornwell (“Appreciate your speaker,” Apr. 7), we actually are upset that neither Bono (nor Stephen, nor Benedict, nor George W.) were selected as our commencement speaker.

Since the only large gatherings on campus must be pre-approved by the University (and thus a Continental Congress is out of the question) it would seem that the most effective way of expressing our grievances is through a Viewpoint article. You may call us snotty, you may call us arrogant, but you can’t call us wrong.

This isn’t a matter of whether or not a speaker is “good enough,” his credibility, or his credentials. Instead, this is a complaint about what we see as one of a long list of instances in which University administration ignores student opinions and desires in its decisions and operations.

We are not complaining that Cardinal McCarrick has nothing to say to our graduating class – in fact, he probably has a lot to tell us. In choosing Cardinal McCarrick, though, it is clear that the University made no authentic attempt to consider student wishes, even though the administration asked for our input. It seems unrealistic to expect that the University will select the exact candidate that we request. Sure, it would have been nice to see Stephen Colbert wishing us well, but we’re not complaining because the fine DFA wasn’t selected.

Rather, we are frustrated that the University asked for our opinion and then took no consideration of it whatsoever. It stands to reason that if there was a genuine concern for our desires then our speaker would at least be similar to one of the speakers we requested. This demonstrated lack of regard for students characterizes the administration’s request for student “input” as nothing more than indulgent patronization. While we can’t say that the administration never had any intention of listening to us it does not take a high school diploma to figure out that the end result is far from ideal from the view of the class of 2008.

So, while this woeful attempt at a semblance of democracy may be initially commendable, the administration’s cavalier attitude toward our requests screams of tyranny. At this point it seems far too late to change anything for our commencement (though throwing a “Boston Tea Party” on the quad during Senior Week may heal our wounded hearts), but we hope that by voicing our concern, the administration will take heed of student desires in future issues, including, but not limited to commencement.

In the meantime we resign ourselves to simply this message (unless of course they attempt to put a stamp tax on our diplomas, in which case we would fear a confrontation leading to the North Quad Massacre), and we call upon the fervent undergraduate patriots who will succeed us to take up our rallying cry: No tuition without representation! Sic Semper Tyrranis!

Andrew Hayes

Conor Kelly

Camille Gabriel


on campus

April 7