Published March 30, 2005
‘U’ not a top choice in eyes of top commencement speakers
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To the Daily:
I was taught that attending graduation was to feel pride at all one accomplished in his years at school. Upon reading the article Speaker Choice Irks Students (03/29/2005), I was horrified but not surprised. I always knew this school was filled with superficial and childish, spoiled adolescents, but I am embarrassed that it is so blatant now.
I suggest that this year’s speaker, John Seely Brown, should not show up and let the graduating class of 2005 realize why no “large name” could be found to speak. The truth is, no one wants to come speak at the University! The immaturity is too overwhelming, and at the rate it is progressing, we will be lucky to have any speaker come next year. The graduating class is too superficial to realize it’s not how popular the speaker is, it’s what he has to say. He isn’t signing autographs; he is being inspirational.
I read that people were suggesting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a speaker, but they need to realize that no conservative will speak here. They are booed every time they approach campus, so why should they free up time to come here and be humiliated? I will also bet that if a conservative had been signed to speak, there would be an outcry that liberals were being discriminated against.
The truth is I would be proud if anyone agreed to speak when I graduate next year, but I won’t be surprised if no one comes. After all, who wants to deal with a bunch of spoiled children who do nothing but whine and throw tantrums without all the facts?
I support any decision Brown makes, and the graduating class can stare at the hole it dug for itself and future graduates. Thank you for allowing your immaturity to show and hurt the rest of us.
New Port Huron Statement needed to address today’s issues
To the Daily:
The 40th Anniversary Teach-In was a great success, and the Daily’s article about the event (Hayden, other activists convene for teach-in, 03/24/2005) describes the night well. However, I wanted to make clear a point regarding Tom Hayden and the Port Huron Statement. While the Daily credits Hayden with the authorship of the document, this is not the case. The social, historical fact is that the manifesto’s creation resulted from a collective process involving the entirety of Students for a Democratic Society. While Hayden was the chief stylist (chair of the “styles” committee), the ideas presented in the document were contributed by a wide range of members over a six- month period. The true power of the Port Huron Statement lies in its collective, continual authorship. A living document, it is meant to evolve over time based on society’s experiences.
Given the changes that have taken place since the time of its creation, it seems appropriate — and necessary — that the radicals, progressives and active members of our generation initiate a multi-faceted, collective process to identify unifying principles and create our own dialogue with society. We must define ourselves outside of the assumptions and limitations created by mass media, the government and society at large, and within our own ideological and moral perspectives. A new collective statement is needed to express the concerns we have regarding the world we have inherited. Through the collective effort to create such a manifesto, we will not only increase the sense of community among each other, but may also contribute to larger social movements of our times.
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