The governor of the commonwealth, whoever he happens to be or will be in the future, typically makes the rounds to address many of Virginia’s fine colleges and universities during his one four-year term. This includes private colleges — beneficiaries of Virginia’s Tuition Assistance Grants, which make their often excruciatingly high tuition affordable for students not children of billionaires.
Often, when the governor visits a campus, it’s as its commencement speaker. The constitution doesn’t entitle him his “Excellency” without reason. In Virginia, we have practice the utmost decorum and respect for the office and the officeholder, even if we disagree with his policies. Typically, when governors typically address Virginia students, it is on matters inspirational not political. Apparently, though, that doesn’t matter to at least one University of Richmond alumna, who expressed in the campus paper The Collegian her grave disappointment in her alma mater’s selection of Governor Bob McDonnell as its May commencement speaker. Not only is she personally upset, she writes that the university is violating its own policies:
The University Promise, Principle II, states that “[t]he University of Richmond will be a diverse and inclusive community, strengthened intellectually and socially by the range of knowledge, opinion, belief, and political perspective and background of its members, whether of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability status, age, religious, economic, or geographic origin.” McDonnell stands against everything UR claims it stands for in Principle II.
Quite a charge. After all, this past February . . .
UR was given a four-star LGBT-friendly rating by the Campus Climate Index, run by Campus Pride, an organization that works to create more LGBT-friendly campus environments. We provide benefits to same-sex partners and are actively creating a safer and more welcoming campus for queer people.
Translation: LGBT = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender. We think you understand “queer.”
Then comes the bill of particulars against the governor:
In contrast, McDonnell has made clear his stance on queer issues. He was an author of the constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman that passed in 2006. … McDonnell just recently stated that he believed that a child needed to have a mother and father. (Emphasis added.)
Imagine that! Moms! Dads! Without which the alumna wouldn’t even be here. Amazing. I’m sure the governor pleads guilty.
To be fair, the comments section after the opinion piece was somewhat balanced, showing that not everyone at, or associated with, UR is hopelessly intolerant. But it demonstrates how far and fast academia has run to the left for a recent grad to be so closed minded to others’ points of views as to want to shut them down. Speaking of principles, isn’t the university a realm in which to explore and examine ideas, even those one may not be immediately inclined toward? It also shows a lack of respect for Governor McDonnell — imagine the outcry if a conservative alumnus or student discourteously opined about and inaccurately accused Tim Kaine regarding his policies? Perhaps worse, though, is that it reveals how little of both sides students get on campus now given her lack of understanding of the issues and verbatim caricature of them by the far left as fact.