The University of Baltimore student body does not want Betsy DeVos as Commencement speaker
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Betsy DeVos has been invited (and has now accepted) to deliver University of Baltimore's Fall 2017 Commencement speech. This decision was not made in any way by the faculty, student government, or the student body as a whole. Invitations to speak were extended solely by the University President, Kurt Schmoke. The SGA was not even made aware of her involvement until 9/7/17. This is unacceptable. 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. UB is a place that supports social justice and equality, and students consistently fight for what is right in the Baltimore community.
Regardless of anyone’s political views, it is the obligation of University Administrators and Faculty to take into account and show respect for the monumental efforts of our graduates, and to facilitate an inclusive, empowering graduation ceremony. Inviting an individual that has caused, is causing, and has potential to continue to cause direct harm to students at this school shows clear disregard for the safety and well-being of students. Further, it creates an implicit endorsement of policies that can and will have a lasting negative impact on the very graduates this ceremony is supposed to celebrate. Ms. DeVos seems to go against the very core of so many of UB's values and makes our mission statement look to be a mockery. We can't send consistent letters of support and inclusiveness to the student body and yet at the same time sell ourselves so short. How is this support for students who have been negatively affected and further marginalized by the statements and policies of Secretary DeVos? We oppose any individual speaking at our commencement who does not celebrate and uplift each and every one of our graduates. The selection process should be transparent with current student leaders, but even if scheduling makes this difficult the selection is in very bad taste.
By signing this petition, we are putting the University of Baltimore on notice that no future or current alumni will donate any money to the university if they decide to keep this decision to bring her as the commencement speaker.
Invite her to a debate or something, literally any other event besides commencement - the one event that should be all about the students.
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