While Vice President talked about the increasing and disturbing trend at American Universities in which freedom of expression is waning, a handful of students, in a pre-planned event, stood up and walked out of the ceremony.
When the crowd realized what was happening, a substantial chorus of boos could be heard ringing out. Watch:
— B. Scott (@lovebscott) May 21, 2017
Pence appeared un-phased by the commotion, and continued on with his speech, which focused on family, freedom, and faith.
“This university (Notre Dame) is a vanguard of the freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas at a time, sadly, when free speech and civility are waning on campuses across America,” Pence told the audience.
The students, of course, are free to exercise their freedom of speech and Pence celebrated the fact that we live in a country where people have the ability to protest government at the highest levels. However, conservatives have increasingly become unwelcome simply for having differing viewpoints, often being branded in a derogatory way as “controversial” when speaking at college campuses, or disrupting and protesting enough to cause cancellation of the appearance.
Colleges and universities have also been heavily criticized for attempting to create no free speech zones, and “safe spaces” designed to allow students to disengage themselves from views they find disagreeable. They are encouraged to remove themselves from classroom discussion if a topic isn’t to their liking.
Notre Dame is a Catholic school, and Pence thanked them for standing up for religious liberty.
“Just as Notre Dame has stood strong to protect its religious liberty, I’m proud that this president just took steps to ensure that this university and the Little Sisters of the Poor could not be forced to violate their consciences to fully participate in American civic life,” Pence said, according to Fox News.
The students said they walked out of the speech in “solidarity” with others who disagree with some of VP Pence’s policy positions.
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