Remove Jeff Sessions as the UAH Spring 2016 Commencement Speaker
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Senator Jeff Sessions has time and time again voted counter to higher education and rights for all of the populace of these United States. His voting record has shown a disregard for the funding of public education in this great nation while also voting counter to programs that support the underprivileged and vulnerable. In addition, he has garnered the following unsavory ratings.
- 0% rating from the National Education Association in 2015
- 0% rating from the American Federation of Teachers in 2012
- 0% rating from the American Civil Liberties Union in 2015
- 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign in 2014
- 11% rating from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 2014.
Whereas, in addition to all of the details above, Senator Sessions has publicly endorsed Donald J. Trump for the Presidency of the United States of America. It is known that Republican Presidential Candidate Donald J. Trump has said many inflammatory remarks towards women, the disabled, and immigrants. All of which are populations not to be forgotten at this University. Whereas, Donald J. Trump has proposed a large amount of cuts and downsizing of the Department of Education that will likely interfere with the federal funds necessary to run our beautiful institution and provide students the opportunity of a higher education. This in turn will cause a rise in the cost of attendance of an establishment of higher education which runs counter to the wishes of the student body at this university.
While we as students at this University understand that listening to all voices can allow for better communication of ideas and an equal understanding of all views, this Commencement Ceremony is not the time or place for such. This speech is something to inspire and send off students to the larger world. You want to leave them motivated and driven and we believe that this choices only enrages the student body and in no way represents the whole of this University.
To only add to the points stated, this honor bestowed upon Senator Sessions validates his voting record, his views, and his endorsements and does not allow for the university to stay impartial in this political climate. By honoring the Senator, the University adds some credence to the claims of both Donald Trump and Senator Sessions which are in direct opposition to the beliefs of not only the students but the University itself.
So be it known that the undersigned students, alumni, and concerned citizens of the University of Alabama in Huntsville urge Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Christine Curtis, University President Robert Altenkirch, as well the University Student Affairs Staff to explore alternatives to Senator Jeff Sessions as the commencement speaker for the Spring 2016 Graduating Class.
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