Notre Dame Students Walk Out of Mike Pence Graduation Speech

On Saturday, about 150 students staged a walk-out protest against Vice President Mike Pence's graduation speech at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Ind. Ironically, Pence used the speech to praise Notre Dame as a campus open to dissenting opinions.

"Notre Dame is a campus where deliberation is welcomed, where opposing views are debated, and where every speaker, no matter how unpopular or unfashionable, is afforded the right to air their views in the open for all to hear," Pence declared, as the South Bend Tribune reported. But just as Pence began speaking, about 150 people, half students and half faculty members, walked out of the speech.

The walk-out had been planned in advance, and took place right as Pence took the podium. Some students and faculty even booed the sitting vice president as they filed out of his speech.

Pence intended to draw a contrast between Notre Dame and other colleges, but this act seemed to solidify the anti-speech trends on American campuses. "Far too many campuses across America have become characterized by speech codes, safe zones, tone policing, administration-sanctioned political correctness, all of which amounts to nothing less than suppression of the freedom of speech."

Benny Arthur Johnson, chief content officer at Independent Journal Review, denounced the walk-out in no uncertain terms. "Were I a parent, watching my son or daughter behave like this from the stands, I would know one singular, very important truth: This University failed my child."

Johnson argued that the walk-out "would prove that this institution, which I had entrusted my kid to for four long years so they would be intellectually challenged & psychologically strengthened, had in-fact merely conditioned perpetual adolescence." The school's failure to intellectually challenge students would mean "my kid is heading for disaster."

"This means my son or daughter had not yet grasped the most painful of all realities: That the world is not as we want it to be. You can't just walk away from it. That reality is a brutal one. One, which Universities should endeavor to teach because, unfortunately, the world is a vicious place that does not care about your dissent," the Independent Journal Review officer added.