Last weekend, a group of protesters interrupted a speech Duke President Vincent Price was giving to Duke alumni. The protesters reportedly stormed the stage, chanting “President Price get off the stage!” and “Whose University? Our University!”
They then listed demands such as training staff to not offend illegal immigrant students, and stopping “medically unnecessary surgery on intersex infants.”
In response, the alumni booed, slung some profanity toward the interlopers, and even turned their backs to the protesters.
The administration stepped in to deal with the interruption, and students were shocked to find that the school wasn’t supportive of their behavior. Bryce Cracknell, a senior, was “disappointed that the administrators focused more on stopping the students than angry alumni.”
“Instead of actually going to the alumni and saying ‘that’s not appropriate’ or removing them from the space, they were more worried about us,” he continued.
As The College Fix put it: “So, not only should upset alumni have been reprimanded instead of those protesting, the protesters should face absolutely no consequences for their actions!”
They interrupted the speech that alumni took time out of their days to attend. They had a right to be upset.
A lifetime of coddling such behavior has done these protesters no good. These kids now need to be met with tough responses every time they pull these antics. They need to be shown that it’s never acceptable, regardless of their causes. That the world does not owe them anything.
School administrations have to take the lead in making it clear that such behavior is inappropriate. While protests are fine and all college students have a right to free speech, interrupting speakers is the breakdown of civil society.