I’m sure you heard about President Barchi and the Board of Governors choosing Condoleezza Rice as this year’s commencement speaker and awarding her an honorary degree of law. Some of you may have read Barchi’s email to the students about his choice, the letters to the editor, or commentaries in the Targum detailing students’ opinions of Barchi’s choice.
Some of you may have even heard of the debate RUSA is holding regarding this issue this Thursday night. The debate will involve two sides presenting why Rice was or was not the right choice to be this year’s commencement speaker. At the end of the debate, RUSA will vote on a resolution to withdraw Rice as commencement speaker or not.
This is where YOU come in. We cannot allow Rice to speak at this year’s commencement. To work towards achieving this goal, we must absolutely make sure RUSA’s meeting on Thursday at 7:30 PM in the Students Activities Center is packed with people who are against Rice coming to Rutgers.
You may think you are powerless against the university administration. However, collectively our student voice creates waves and has a massive effect on the higher-ups. The Rutgers faculty are already fighting against this and getting much attention for it. The faculty on both the New Brunswick and Newark campuses issued statements denouncing Rice as commencement speaker. They are extremely against her receiving any sort of honor from Rutgers and cite her inhumane use of her power as justification that Rice should not be awarded an honorary degree or be commencement speaker.
It is time we as students mobilize and join efforts to prevent this outrage from coming true. Students are a force to be reckoned with. Without us and our (parents’) money, this university is nothing. The administration is nothing. Our voices matter, and there is strength in numbers. We need to use our power to stop this injustice.
I’m not a senior at Rutgers, but you can be sure I will not stand by and let the administration go through with their decision to invite Rice as the speaker. This may not be my commencement, but that hardly matters since this issue is so much bigger than that. You don’t have to be a senior to care about injustice or realize Rice is in no way deserving of an honorary degree of law.
This woman is responsible for directing the murder, torture, and destruction of millions of lives. You owe it to them to fight as hard as you can and give it your all in preventing this war criminal from speaking at commencement and receiving an honorary degree. This is not a matter of academic freedom as Barchi may call it. Innocent lives, the majority of whom were Muslim, are not a matter of academic freedom. Rice caused so much damage, it is our duty to ensure she receives no more prestige for her crimes. If she is allowed to be this year’s commencement speaker and receives an honorary degree, it will be a victory for the United States’ imperialistic policies, showing they can get away with their inhumane actions.
Choosing to be idle while thousands of lives have been uprooted due to Rice’s oppressive ideologies is a despicable choice. This woman has zero respect for innocent lives and her time as Secretary of State shows she condones the United States’ warmongering ways. Remaining silent is approving of her actions. Signing online petitions is not enough. Making actual change requires you to exert more effort than that. Our Muslim brothers and sisters died and were tortured as a result of Rice’s policies. The MSA event on Thursday is focused on uniting the ummah at Rutgers, and you can further support the ummah by honoring your Muslim brothers and sisters and demonstrating your disapproval of Rice at the RUSA meeting.
Will you fight against injustice or not?