Sunday was graduation day in South Bend, Indiana for just over 3,000 Notre Dame students. About one hundred of those students in attendance decided to walk out because they don’t agree with the policies of vice president and guest speaker Mike Pence.
Before getting into this topic, let’s get one thing straight: what I am about to say does not come from a place of politics. With that being said, commencement is not a place for political statements. It’s just a stupid ceremony that you have to go through so your mom has a picture to brag about on Facebook. Seriously just chill out. It’s not that serious.
The outraged millennial is so played out. I usually defend my generation but we are wrong on this one. To be honest, I definitely would never hang out with someone who did this. You’re taking life too seriously. Do you realize how much time and energy you are wasting on something that you have zero control over? Politicians, the very people empowered to do so, can’t even get along enough to make change. What makes you think your 30 second walk will? Spoiler alert, you have done nothing except for make your pessimistic selves feel better.
Protesting at a commencement ceremony is unbelievably selfish. Everyone in attendance worked exhaustively hard to earn a college degree from a top university. That is an accomplishment that deserves to be celebrated without any distractions. The only thing you are doing by standing up all at once and storming out is attempting to take away from that experience. You’re so self righteous that all you care about is being able to tell everyone how proud you are of yourself for standing up for something. It was so worth it.
If you really feel that strongly about the elected speaker then don’t even go to the event. Just skip out. Remember when the New England Patriots went to the White House to meet the president? Did the ones who disagree with President Trump show up then publicly make some grand gesture to show their displeasure? No, they just didn’t go. They didn’t want to cheapen the experience for everyone else so they just abstained. That is the adult way of going about it.
In conclusion, don’t be an asshole. The video of the events seem to show that the protest didn’t last all that long. I hope that the rest of graduation went smoothly for students who don’t want to make things all about them. It is just super annoying to think that some girl in the, “why is my son on the bench?” haircut thinks she made a difference. You didn’t. Nobody cares. You did not make some earth shattering breakthrough. You just ruined what should have been a special day for you and your family because having thirty seconds all about you was more important.
College is supposed to be a time to grow and growing up means realizing that your decisions affect others. Luckily, 97% of the graduating class of Notre Dame understands this. I truly hope that the others can learn this someday too.