July 17, 2019 | 75° F

Protests should not tarnish commencement

Letter to Editor

I am a senior who, up until this week, was very much looking forward to my graduation on May 18.  However, after reading The Daily Targum’s news and editorial coverage of the #NoRice protests this week, I must express my grave concern.

After reading the Targum’s editorial on May 1, I have to admit that I am now reconsidering attending commencement this year, and this is due to the phrase with which the piece concluded: “and whatever happens at commencement, it will be on Barchi and the Board of Governors to deal with the ramifications of brushing aside the student voice.”

As someone who tries to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, I’d like to think that the intent of such a comment was not to be menacing or terroristic in nature. However, when coupled with some ominous Twitter posts from student protestors, I cannot ignore the feeling that this comment is an overt threat to Condoleezza Rice, University President Robert L. Barchi, and the entire administration. This calls the professionalism of the Targum into question, in my opinion, for publishing such a thing.

I do not argue the fact that students have the right to have their voices heard, but where does this end? With demonstrations that are escalating quickly in the direction of vandalism, and comments that are becoming increasingly ominous and threatening in nature, I am fearful of what sort of radical actions students might take against the administration and Rice, and I am sorely disappointed to see the Targum staff’s apparent role in perpetuating this sort of aggression. You’ve not only engaged in sensationalizing the issue, but you’ve also given what appears to be a rationalization for potentially disruptive or violent acts that are seemingly anticipated to occur during the University Commencement ceremony. Discontent or not, there are absolutely no excuses for that.

I am disappointed in and resentful of these protestors, and now the Targum, for tarnishing my graduation experience. It is supposed to be one of the most exciting and rewarding times of my life, and thanks to these tasteless lacks of discretion and professionalism, it is marred with suspicion and fear. I feel that a public display of apology and humility is in order.

Kelley Walker is a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in English with a minor in psychology.

BY Kelley Walker

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