Comments about ‘In our opinion: Closed-minded universities flirt with irrelevance as they exclude commencement speakers’

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Published: Tuesday, May 20 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Bob K
portland, OR

The editorial completely misses the facts of recent incidents, in its' attempt to put over some right wing point.

Speakers who would have offended the students by their presence were protested by the students. Perhaps the DN editors would sit for a speech by someone who helped create the Iraq war, but students should hear people who inspire them.

Controversial people and points of view are for the classroom, not commencement celebration.

However, I suppose we will be seeing Dan Savage speak at BYU at the urging of the DN editorial board.

Salt Lake City, UT

Students/workers need to be able to take control of their own futures. An example of this is found in Europe where worker self-directed enterprises (WSDEs) are becoming more important. In such enterprises, each worker has two job descriptions. First, he/she has assigned tasks in the enterprise's division of labor. Second, he/she participates in the democratic decisions by all workers about what, how and where to produce and how to distribute the enterprise's profits. In WSDEs, workers comprise their own boards of directors.

The workers decide what education to require of themselves. But to make this sort of thing work they have to be able to form cooperatives and make them work. The huge Mondragon cooperative in Spain has its own university where, among more conventional courses, students are taught how to form WSDE's.

Empower people, don't treat them as raw material.

Hayden, ID

Nothing more than liberal fascism exposing itself!

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

"put the petulant disruptors in their place."

How dare those pesky youngins exercise thier rights to free speech!

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

A University should be the last place on earth to censor someone because he or she has different ideas. When truth is the object of learning, hearing opposing ideas an excellent way to see which points to explore further. Our personal knowledge is expanded when we are presented new ideas. If we are wise, we listen before researching and we research before deciding which idea has the most merit.

It's not just Universities where close-minded people reject ideas. That trait can be found almost anywhere. Look at the posts commenting on letters in any newspaper that has an electronic edition. Close-minded people constantly reject anything that opposes their viewpoint by "shouting down" those they oppose. Listen to people taking. So many times, they only want to hear from others who support their point of view. Look at the present Administration in Washington. With millions of people unemployed, there is no one with extensive business experience serving at a cabinet level position.

Open-minded people are not afraid of hearing new things. They are invigorated by new and different ideas.

Pleasant Grove, UT

For all the lip-service given to diversity, the Left is strikingly intolerant toward diversity of thought.

Eugene, OR

So conservatives can stand up for what they believe in and make themselves heard while liberals should just shut up and accept what they're given. Good to know...

Victor, ID

These "universities" should lose their tax free status for being political activists groups. If the TEA party gets targeted, why let these fools off the hook? Where is Lois Lerner? Where is Harry Reid? Where is Obama? If Fidel Castro or Mao tse Tung or Joseph Stalin were to speak, these activists would give them a standing ovation and tell us how "open minded and tolerant" they are!

Salt Lake City, UT

Um... people complained about Michelle Obama speaking at a high school graduation too and she withdrew as well, this isn't only a left thing.

Far East USA, SC

Again, we see posters complaining about the liberal left while turning a blind eye to the same actions by the conservative right.

Funny how we see only what we want to see.

Springville, UT

The minute BYU does something that highlights a liberal in a big way, please let me know. Frankly, the fact that students at some universities don't want to listen to certain speakers is no big deal. It is, after all, their graduation and their experience. So again, back to BYU. I've seen a prominent LDS Democrat treated poorly by BYU audiences. In the spirit of the old blues song, before you accuse me, take a look at yourself. Both in practice and in spirit. Disclosure: I'm a BYU grad and have been connected to the school since childhood.

Mark B
Eureka, CA

I wonder if BYU ever canceled a speaker based on his/her "liberal fascist" beliefs. And if that ever happened, did Mike R. or M-man object, insisting that the airing of different beliefs is a good thing?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If these student protests demonstrate "TOLERANCE"... then I need a new dictionary.

And if I'm not mistaken, these were LIBERAL student groups, protesting having to tolerate the presence of a Conservative guest at their University, and maybe hear a Conservative point of view (possibly, we don't know what the guest may have said if they were allowed to speak).

Liberals.. need to teach your kids again. Teach them what "Tolerance" means. By YOUR example.

Salt Lake City, UT

Bob K
portland, OR

You have conveniently forgotten that virtually all Democrat leaders voted in favor of the Iraq war during Bush's first term and Mr. Obama took ownership of the Afghan war. By that metric, there is virtually no one who should speak at a commencement. Like the Bolsheviks, today's left cannot tolerate open discussion.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

I believe the Editorial Board does not understands that many believe the Iraq War was morally and legally wrong and the American people were deliberately deceived. Should we now honor those individuals who were in a position of responsibility and give them a stage and tell our children how they should influence the future generation.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Bob K,
Re: "Controversial people and points of view are for the classroom, not commencement celebration"...

So... if controversial people and points of view are only for the classroom... why did "Student Leaders" at UVU (a VERY Conservative campus) invite Michael Moore to speak there in 2004 (while he was hammering our President)?

Books about it (Google "Free Speach 101 - The Utah Valley Uproar over Michael Moore")

The movie (Google "This Divided State")

Some background for those with limited memory...

"IN THE FALL OF 2004, just weeks before the already hostile national elections, student leaders at Utah Valley State invited one of the most controversial figures in America, film maker Michael Moore, to one of the most conservative campuses in the country"....

There were protests, but they were wrong-headed (same as the protests at liberal Universities). But the UVU did not give in (unlike the liberal Universities)

The author of the book says, "It was made because the underlying issue throughout the controversy -- constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech -- trumps personal preferences"...

I agree.

Although many students protested... the administration DEMONSTRATED "tolerance", and didn't fold to vocal intolerant protesters (as these liberal Universities did).

South Jordan, UT

The hypocrisy of the Deseret News bashing closed minded universities while sharing an owner with Byu, one of the most closed minded universities in the country, is staggering.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

About BYU being closed minded... The last speaker I remember being protested by BYU students (big time protests)..... was Dick Cheney (a Conservative). So if they are so closed minded... why would students at this fairly conservative school protest Dick Cheney speaking at their commencement?

Do you remember those protests? They were conducted by the supposedly "Tolerant" left-leaning students. It caused a lot of controversy. Surely you can remember it....

If not... Google "LDS Church concerning Cheney visit to BYU"...

The LDS Church issued a statement concerning the controversy. Read it... you'll find it's not closed minded. The protesters were the ones being "closed minded", and trying to limit someone else's right to free speach...

J Thompson

I was a student at BYU with Ted Kennedy spoke. When he started denouncing the government for the Vietnam War, he was booed of the stage. Maybe he thought that all college students hated their government. Maybe he thought that all college students were on drugs and into the Berkley lifestyle. But, he was invited to speak and he was allowed to say what he wanted to say.

Salt Lake City, UT

Nate: "For all the lip-service given to diversity, the Left is strikingly intolerant toward diversity of thought."

And Liberty University last had an evolutionary biologist on its biology faculty when? Or invited Richard Dawkins as a commencement speaker when?

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