As Vice President Mike Pence began his commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame on Sunday, graduating students chose to walk out, according to the Washington Post.
Pence was asked by Notre Dame to deliver the speech Sunday at its graduation, but the moment he stepped up to the lectern.at least 20 students got up headed toward the back.
Pence was described as a man of “deep and abiding faith” and as someone who was able to work with people on both sides of the political aisle in his introduction before receiving his honorary doctorate.
The procession of graduates will now begin at 10 a.m., with the ceremony starting at 10:30 a.m.in order to give ample time for storms to pass through the area.
Pence told graduates to inspire those around them, since people follow those they respect and aspire to service rather than selfish ambition.
“If we are going to build walls between American students and worldwide students, then I am skewered on the fence”, Pine said. Students were instructed on WeStaNDFor’s Facebook page to walk out “quietly but deliberately”.
Pence spoke to 606 graduates – the most in school history.
Pence previously visited the University during his time as Governor of IN, meeting with College Republicans while he was on campus. After pressure from the business community and LGBT advocates, Pence signed into law a fix to the measure.
As governor, Pence tried to block state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Indiana.
The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, struck a conciliatory tone in his remarks, calling for peace and dialogue, and saying; “Too often the love that fires our passion is twisted into a hatred in which we disagree”, The Hill reported.
Notre Dame spokesman Paul Browne says school officials would only intervene if the protest “seriously disrupted” the commencement or put anyone’s safety at risk.
A protest against Pence of about 200 activists took place at the entrance of GCC on East Main Street; however, only loved ones, friends, alumni and staff could enter commencement with tickets.
To encourage the graduates, Pence added, “From this day forward, to the Grove City College class of 2017, you are called to lead fearlessly”. “He shares the same agenda as Trump, but at this point would likely be far more effective in getting these things done”.
April Lidinsky, with Planned Parenthood Community Action Partners, described the protest as an “unwelcome home” celebration for the former governor.
“Even those who disagree with Mike Pence recognize him as a man of principle”. The state and local organizations involved in these protests include We Go High!, South Bend Equality, and Michiana Alliance for Democracy.
Notre Dame announced in March that it had invited Pence, who was raised Catholic, to speak at graduation instead of President Trump.
Ricketts also said the university administration has not resisted their protest.
Former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos told his supporters that “the polls were so rigged the NY media even had to invent a term, ‘enthusiasm gap, ‘ to explain why no one was going to Hillary’s rallies even when she pulled celebrities up, while Daddy [Donald Trump] had thousands [of people attending his rallies]”. “It’s just a chance to show our opposition to some of the policies that we feel are against human and environmental rights”. Participants have been instructed to stay on public property and not to interfere with commencement in any way. I also believe we’re called to be respectful and act in civility, and I believe in bridging divides.