Students want Taylor University to remain free from the Trump-Pence administration’s shadow.
Students of Taylor University, an evangelical Christian school, have urged Paul Lowell Haines, the president of the university and other administration chiefs to disinvite United States Vice President Mike Pence from delivering the key commencement address. Over 3,700 digital signatures were collected through a Change.org petition. The university is a small one, with under 3,000 students. Some alumni of the university have also put in their signatures.
The signees claimed inviting V.P. Pence to the university and providing him a platform to express his political views makes Taylor University’s current students, alumni, faculty, and staff complicit in the policies adopted by the Trump-Pence administration. The signees claimed the policies of the administration are not in accordance with the core Christian love ethic which the signees follow. It is to be mentioned that Pence frequently claims his Christian values shape his political views. Interestingly, if it happens, this will be the vice-president’s maiden commencement speech at an Indiana school, even though he previously served as Governor of Indiana. Students have walked out when he rose up to make his speech at Notre Dame in 2017. Pence is also scheduled to deliver a commencement speech at the Liberty University in May.
Count me as part of The Backlash. @tayloru, this is a mistake, to ally yourself with and honor a politician who has been supportive of and complacent in this administration (not to mention the embarrassment he has caused Indiana!)https://t.co/jRdC5IU93r
— Joanna (@keepingfeet) April 11, 2019
In a press release, Dr. Paul Lowell Haines, the president of Taylor University, said the university is both honored and pleased to welcome V.P. Pence for its 2019 Commencement exercises. The content went on to state that Pence has been an excellent friend to the university over many years and the institution, in turn, regards him as a Christian brother whose values and how he conducts his life demonstrates what the university wants to instill in its graduates. The press release concluded by welcoming Vice President Pence and Karen Pence, his wife, to the 173-year-old Christian higher education institution and thanked the two for their service and love towards their nation, the state, and the institution.
One graduate of Taylor University told the media, the university “should be ashamed” of inviting Pence. Officials of Taylor University, however, are rigid in their decision.
Pence has also been criticized by Democratic presidential hopeful and South Bend Governor Pete Buttigieg. He pointed out that the Trump-Pence administrative policies discriminate against LGBTQ people.