The following statement describes a walkout being planned by some graduating students in response to the selection of Governor Robert McDonnell as speaker at the 2011 Final Exercises. It is posted here in order to facilitate a community-wide discussion of the issues, but does not represent the opinions of the Architecture School. We encourage comments to the blog that are a respectful expression of your opinion regarding the SILENT & PEACEFUL COMMENCEMENT SPEECH WALKOUT, freedom of speech and civil rights.
SILENT & PEACEFUL COMMENCEMENT SPEECH WALKOUT in protest of the choice of Gov. Bob McDonnell as the 2011 UVA commencement speaker.
- Reduction in funding for public schools; in 2010 $646 million dollars was cut from public school funding
- Against marriage equity; defining marriage as only between a man and a woman Against adoption for same-sex couples
- Declined to commute a death sentence for a mental challenged woman. She was executed in 2011
- Declared Confederate History Month for the state of Virginia and neglected any direct mention of slavery.
- Sought to pass a bill to allow offshore oil and gas extraction off Virginia’s coast; the effort was canceled through action taken by President Obama
- Limiting state funding, accessibility and a woman’s right to choose.
Join us by participating in a SILENT & PEACEFUL WALKOUT as Gov. Bob McDonnell approaches the podium to speak, after he has been introduced. We will exit the ceremony the moment the Governor begins to speak and not return for the duration, in order to minimize disruption of the Final Exercises. Gov. McDonnell is scheduled to take the podium at 10:00 a.m.
In addition we have attached protest images that highlight a few of the controversial issues listed above, but you can create your own. Print and adorn yourself with a statement(s) orjust participate in the walkout. Your participation in the walkout is the key part of the plan, because en masse we will make a clear statement.
- Pick up tickets for the Final Exercise at the University bookstore from May 19th to 22nd. Remember to bring your photo id.
- Spread the word by passing this along to friends in other schools in the university.
A similar protest happened at the University of Michigan’s Law School when Ohio Senator Rob Portman spoke at its commencement. For more information, visit:
Use your “voice” by participating in the SILENT & PEACEFUL WALKOUT.
Aja, Jie and Laura