Brave enough to storm the stage, too fragile to face the consequences.
A bunch of Duke University students stormed the stage when University President Vincent Price (I swear I’m not making that up) was speaking at an alumni event on April 7.
Around two dozen activists linked arms onstage, chanting ‘Whose University? Our University!’ and ‘President Price get off the stage!’ while holding protests signs covering a variety of demands. One student with a bullhorn read a list of demands including calling for a raise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour, hiring more faculty members of color, and demanding more money for counseling services.
¡Viva la Revolución!
The alumni event was commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Silent Vigil, a series of student-led sit-ins on the Duke campus in 1968 in the wake of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that would pave the way for lasting change in civil rights at the university.
That is the event they chose to disrupt.
Let’s just say that some members of the audience were not impressed.
Some of the alumni booed loudly, some heckled the protesters and turned their backs on them as the demands were read.
Where was the applause?
Where were the shouts of support from the alumni whose event they had just disrupted?
It must’ve been a shock to the little snowflakes onstage.
They were ‘making their voice heard’ by storming into someone else’s planned event and co-opting it for their own purpose. They stood in solidarity with their signs, shouted down the speaker and made their demands loud and clear.
That’s what you do, right?
At least, not according to the Duke Student Handbook.
A leaflet was printed and circulated before the event to remind Duke students the right and wrong way to protest.
“Disruptive picketing, protesting or demonstration on Duke University property or at any place in use for an authorized university purpose is prohibited,” states one bullet point of the leaflet, quoting the Duke Student Handbook.
In its explanation for the protest policy, Duke’s student handbook invokes issues of free speech.
“The substitution of noise for speech and force for reason is a rejection and not an application of academic freedom,” the policy states. “A determination to discourage conduct which is disruptive and disorderly does not threaten academic freedom; it is rather, a necessary condition of its very existence.”
According to the handbook, those in violation of the protest policy have their cases heard by University Judicial Board. The Judicial Board’s decision is final if the student is exonerated or if there is no appeal. If the student opts to appeal then their case is reviewed by the Hearing Committee of the Judicial Board, a panel which consists of two faculty members, one dean and two students.
And so, the students may indeed face disciplinary action.
So far, 21 students have been issued conduct letters stating that they had violated the school’s policy regarding the proper way to protest.
But they don’t want to face disciplinary measures because it might hurt their mental health.
The protest leader Gino Nuzzolillo explains:
I think we are particularly concerned that the University knows that by sending these conduct letters out that they will be concerning the students and that they will be exacerbating any pre-existing mental health conditions and, like Bryce said, traumatizing and starting new ones, especially after Saturday’s issues. I think that among the many things that we share in common with the administration, the number one thing is that we all want to see this University be better and be more accommodating and make changes. We’re not sure why they’re not taking that approach too and reaching out to us in good faith rather than initiating a conduct process.
Did you catch that?
This bro believes that disrupting and shouting down the university president at an event commemorating a peaceful civil rights protest to make his own demands is perfectly acceptable, but saying that that violates the school policy — which it does — is not ‘reaching out in good faith’.
The University President was incredibly civil in his statement that he sent to the Duke Chronicle.
In a statement to The Chronicle, President Vincent Price expressed concern with the methods the protestors chose to use to get their point across.
“I welcome the engagement and passion of our students on matters of critical importance to the university. That said, I am deeply disappointed that our students would choose to violate Duke’s most ardently defended principles of free speech and civil discourse by disrupting an event and preventing others from engaging in dialogue,” Price wrote in an email. “It is unfortunate that these students, rather than approach me to discuss these issues in a more constructive manner, instead opted to disrupt others who were participating in a long-planned alumni event. Had they approached me with their concerns, I certainly would have been willing to speak with them.”
Source: The Duke Chronicle
You can see why they wouldn’t go to him — what a [email protected] wanting to discuss issues in a civilized manner like that!
These university students are acting like toddlers.
They want to rage whenever they feel like it *cough* tantrum *cough* and still have the administration shield them from their actions.
They want faculty to affirm their positions but not criticize them in any way.
They want the freedom to disrupt other people’s events but not be punished for it.
They want to be the activist ‘resistance’ fighters and be the traumatized victims.
They want to start the revolution — but they don’t want to get shot at.
Those Duke protesters desperately need this:
by Doug Giles
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Wear this to the gym and I guarantee you’ll get some comments.
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Keep Calm and Don’t Be a Pussy!
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