Rutgers Students Stage Sit-In to Disinvite Rice from Commencement

by Andrew Johnson

As I wrote about earlier this year, Rutgers University students and faculty are trying to get the school to oust Condoleezza Rice as commencement speaker next month.

On Monday, in objectors’ latest effort, the Associated Press reports roughly 50 students protested the former secretary of state’s invitation by holding a sit-in outside university president Robert L. Barchi’s office.

Over the course of the sit-in, protesters chanted to remove Rice as well as sang in honor of dead Iraqis, according to campus newspaper the Daily Targum. Students had planned to stay for several days, but the crowd gradually diminished over the course of the afternoon due to hunger and concerns about missing class or being cited for trespassing. The 20 remaining students voted to end the sit-in shortly after the building closed for the evening.

The students’ action was the latest effort by the Rutgers community to replace its commencement speaker. Last month, the Faculty Council at Rutgers’ New Brunswick campus passed a resolution requesting that the administration disinvite Rice.

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