This graduation season, college students have found a new way to use their voice to express their political views. A wave of protests has been the result of controversial commencement speakers from the Trump administration, and they’ve made quite the stir on social media.
Earlier this month, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos met with boos and backs turned at her commencement speech at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black school. Her presence was protested even before the ceremony. Shortly after DeVos began her speech, which lasted about 20 minutes, the school’s president interrupted to warn students about the consequences of continuing their behavior.
Walkout on Pence at Notre Dame graduation pic.twitter.com/fS1JOKg0vz
— Razor Benny D (@BenJustDuIt) May 21, 2017
Protests continued on Sunday when Vice President Mike Pence spoke at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony, except this time, students actually walked out. Many students opposed Pence’s policies as Indiana governor and the ones he supports as the nation’s vice president that marginalize certain groups of people, particularly Muslims and those in the LGBTQ community.
The walkout was planned beforehand and the school even knew about it. As the site of several past protests, the university allowed the walkout as long as the ceremony was not disrupted. In fact, according to the Notre Dame Vice President for Public Affairs, since the ceremony was held in the school’s football stadium, there was more concern about potential thunderstorms interfering with the ceremony.
Read more about the protests here.