Graduates disrupt another DeVos commencement speech

Nikita Vladimirov
Correspondents Editor

  • U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos delivered the University of Baltimore's commencement address Monday, though she was greeted with boos and protests from the audience.
  • When the university first announced that she was selected to deliver the address, students immediately began protesting the decision and started a petition calling for her disinvitation.
  • Several University of Baltimore graduates protested U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as she delivered a commencement speech Monday.

    According to The Baltimore Sun, some attendees booed and turned their back on DeVos during her congratulatory speech honoring the graduating seniors.

    "The natural instinct is to join in the chorus of conflict, to raise your voice louder, to promote your profile and ostracize others."   

    [RELATED: University of Baltimore students stage '#NeverDeVos' walk-out]

    The university’s decision to invite DeVos to commencement was met with harsh criticism from students in September, with thousands signing a petition calling for her to be disinvited.

    “This is unacceptable,” the petition read. “This is not what UB students want. The overwhelming majority of UB students and alumni, as well as the Baltimore community in general are appalled at this decision.”

    Around the same time, dozens of students staged a “class walk-out” protest, disrupting their classes by standing up during lectures and assembling for an anti-DeVos rally.

    A video of Monday’s protest shows more than a dozen graduates facing away from the speaker as she continues to deliver her speech to an auditorium filled with hundreds of attendees.

    [RELATED: Devos praises BCU students who shunner her at commencement]

    DeVos appeared to criticize protesters during her address, stressing that too many people are quick to “join in the chorus of conflict.”

    "The natural instinct is to join in the chorus of conflict, to raise your voice louder, to promote your profile and ostracize others,” she stated. “Too many assume that those who are the loudest are leaders and those who stay quiet are followers. But we will not solve the significant and real problems our country faces if we cannot embrace this paradox of silence.”

    [RELATED: Prof: ‘I’d be ok if #BetsyDeVos was sexually assaulted’]

    She went on to stress the importance of listening first to other points of view, rather than immediately jumping to conclusions.

    “We will do well to first listen, study, ponder, then speak to genuinely engage those with whom we disagree,” she continued. “Voices that are quiet at first, grow in strength while those who rush to shout are humbled.”

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    Nikita Vladimirov

    Nikita Vladimirov

    Correspondents Editor
    Nikita Vladimirov is a Correspondents Editor for Campus Reform. Prior to joining Campus Reform, he wrote for The Hill, where he extensively covered the latest political developments in U.S. and around the world. A 2016 national finalist for the Society of Professional Journalists' "Mark of Excellence Award," Nikita now resides in Washington D.C. and contributes to the Washington Examiner. His work has appeared on the front pages of The Drudge Report and The Hill, and has been featured by leading media organizations including Fox News, MSN, Real Clear Defense and many others.
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