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Monday, May 20, 2024
The Observer

Walk-out absurd

I have a question for Edward Cox ("Pick speakers instead," April 21) that he might find familiar: What were you thinking? Your letter has proved to be ill-informed, disrespectful and disturbingly cavalier in its suggestion of a walk-out at Commencement. Apparently the 14 years you've been absent as a member of the student body have allowed you to forget the pride that we share in our identity as Notre Dame students. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to hear a "stump speech" from a politician at my Commencement either. However, I suggest to you that the President of the United States is no everyday political figure, and that we can expect something more than a cookie-cutter speech from the campaign trail come May 17 (in case you were not aware, campaigning traditionally ends when the election is won, and that occurred in November).

Secondly, your accusation that Fr. Jenkins planned to "alienate our graduates" by choosing "a speaker who repulses half the student body" is completely off base. In fact, an overwhelming number of students, primarily our senior class members, are in support of President Obama's upcoming Commencement speech, regardless of their individual political bias. Believe it or not, most students here understand and appreciate the honor of having the President deliver the closing words of their college careers.

Which brings me to your suggestion of a walk-out during Mr. Obama's speech. For someone who accused Fr. Jenkins of turning "a dignified ceremony into a political circus" mere sentences before, it is difficult for me to wade through your hypocrisy. By supporting walking out on both President Obama and our graduating seniors (for whom this ceremony is intended, in case you weren't aware), you suggest a statement that would be a slap in the face to our Commander in Chief and the Class of 2009, as well as a shameful embarrassment to the University that you somehow call your own.

If you don't mind, Mr. Cox, I will be joining my fellow students at Commencement and giving all involved the respect that they deserve. Why don't you skip the walk-out and cut to the chase, joining the extremist activists and protesters where they belong: out of sight, and out of mind.

Kevin G. Murphy


Stanford Hall

April 21