The HBCU said it considered the students’ desires when making the decision to cancel the senator’s speech.
The administration at Texas Southern University has canceled the upcoming commencement speech by Sen. John Cornyn, days after student booed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos at Bethune-Cookman University this week.
We see that universities are learning from that incident!
Cornyn, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, was expected to speak at the Houston HBCU’s ceremony on Saturday. But more than 800 people signed a petition to protest the school’s decision to invite Cornyn to speak.
“Every consideration is made to ensure that our student’s graduation day is a celebratory occasion and one they will remember positively for years to come,” the university said in a statement posted on Facebook. “We asked Senator Cornyn to instead visit with our students again at a future date in order to keep the focus on graduates and their families.”
The petition points out that Cornyn’s record is an insult to HBCUs, including his support for DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his voting record in favor of voter ID laws, and his opposition to sanctuary cities. The petition also cited Cornyn’s low rating by the NAACP.
DeVos, who was announced as Bethune-Cookman University’s graduation speaker less than two weeks ago, had been protested by many including current students and alumni. But the administration did not listen unfortunately.
Cornyn’s spokesman said, “Sen. Cornyn was honored to be invited to address TSU’s graduates, but he respects the administration’s decision and looks forward to continuing to engage with the university in the future.”
We appreciate the university for listening to its students!