Condi Causes Campus Commencement Controversy

Students and teachers at Boston College are upset that the Secretary of State is this year’s commencement speaker and recipient of an honorary law degree.  

According to The Boston Globe, two "leading theology professors circulated a letter opposing" Condoleezza Rice’s visit because some of her views "were in conflict with Roman Catholic values."  

Some 150 educators of the school’s 1,000 member faculty signed the letter, according to the Globe. And, although the letter did not ask for Rice’s invitation to be revoked, a similar student petition did make such a demand.

”While we are not in favor of censorship on the basis of Jesuit ideals, we feel that the gift of an honorary degree extends beyond the limits or invocation of free speech and into the realm of acclamation and endorsement by Boston College," the petition said.

Just under 14,000 students attend the Jesuit school and the Globe reports that roughly 800 people had signed the online petition as of late Wednesday afternoon.

But, "by late afternoon, more than 300 people had signed a counter petition in favor of Rice coming to speak at graduation and receiving an honorary law degree" the article notes.
Students and faculty members opposed to Condi’s commencement appearance have yet to decide what they’ll do on graduation day (May 22). The Globe goes on to report that there’s concern the occasion may be turned into a political event, but those opposed to the Secretary of State’s visit "insist that regardless of what they do, the event was destined to be political when the administration invited Rice."