Vice President Mike Pence’s scheduled commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame has prompted a protest by senior students who say that Pence’s presence on campus will make them “feel unsafe.”
Students Immane Mondane and Jourdyhn Williams have started a #NotMyCommencementSpeaker campaign against Pence’s May 21 address, Fox News reports.
Notre Dame students protesting VP Pence as this year's commencement speaker because it makes them "feel unsafe" pic.twitter.com/W7mJoFp6dV
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) April 12, 2017
The campaign consists of students holding white boards featuring quotes from Pence that are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, offensive, or ostracizing” to members of the Notre Dame community.
“For me personally, [Pence] represents the larger Trump administration,” Mondane told the university’s newspaper. “His administration represents something, and for many people on our campus, it makes them feel unsafe to have someone who openly is offensive but also demeaning of their humanity and of their life and of their identity.”
Williams argued that the selection of Pence as the university’s commencement speaker goes against the school’s Catholic mission.
“I feel that is offensive to such a large population here at Notre Dame, and I also believe it goes against certain Catholic Social Teaching, which is something the University likes to broadcast that it stands behind, but it picks and chooses when it wants to stand behind them,” Williams said.
In addition to the #NotMyCommencementSpeaker campaign, a number of student groups have spoken out against the invitation of Pence, including the Diversity Council and the College Democrats, according to Campus Reform.