Patterico's Pontifications


Putting Children In Their Place

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:30 pm

[guest post by Dana]

In the midst of college children throwing temper-tantrums this commencement season, William Bowen, commencement speaker at Haverford College and former president of Princeton University, used the opportunity to chastise students for their protest against scheduled speaker, former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, Robert Birgeneau.

More than 40 students and three professors had protested Birgeneau’s invitation to speak, objecting to his handling of a 2011 incident at Berkeley in which police used force at a student protest during the Occupy movement. The group wanted Birgeneau to apologize, support payments for victims and write a letter to Haverford students explaining his position on the events and “what you learned from them”.

Birgeneau stepped down after refusing to meet those demands. Bowen directly addressed it with students.

“I am disappointed that those who wanted to criticize Birgeneau’s handling of events at Berkeley chose to send him such an intemperate list of ‘demands,”’ Bowen said Sunday. “In my view, they should have encouraged him to come and engage in a genuine discussion, not to come, tail between his legs, to respond to an indictment that a self-chosen jury had reached without hearing counterarguments.”

Bowen also said Birgeneau had “responded intemperately, failing to make proper allowance for the immature, and, yes, arrogant inclinations of some protesters. Aggravated as he had every right to be, I think he should be with us today.”

Bowen stated he believed Birgeneau’s withdrawal was a defeat for the school. The audience, showing their support for Bowen, gave him a standing ovation.

Here’s hoping every other commencement replacement speaker follows Bowen’s lead.


6 Responses to “Putting Children In Their Place”

  1. very brave

    the washoe should name a wigwam after him I think

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  2. Sometimes an adult spanks the child that says shut up.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  3. So Occupy was peaceful. Who knew?

    Gramps, the original (4615a6)

  4. Required for university administrators: intelligence, advanced education, gravitas, flexibility, experience. Not required: moral courage.

    LTMG (9a1240)

  5. CBS talking heads “tisk, tisked” the awful rudeness of the speaker. Go figure.

    in_awe (7c859a)

  6. Sending someone a letter is offensive these days.

    cbuund (74098c)

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