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Duke protesters upset THEY were scolded, say alumni at event should have been rebuked


In another example of how pretentious the modern college generation can be, the protesters who disrupted a speech by Duke president Vincent Price to alumni this weekend are miffed that they were admonished by school officials, and not those in attendance who had dared to voice their displeasure.

On Saturday, demonstrators crashed the stage while Price was speaking, shouting “President Price get off the stage” and “Whose University? Our University!” and then listed demands which include training staff to deal with undocumented students, and nixing “medically unnecessary surgery on intersex infants” in the Duke Health System.

Angered alumni booed, used profanity, and even turned their backs to the activists as they spoke.

According to The Chronicle, the protesters were “surprised by the extent of the alumni’s negative reactions.” SeniorBryce Cracknell said he was “disappointed that the administrators focused more on stopping the students than angry alumni” (emphasis added).

“Instead of actually going to the alumni and saying ‘that’s not appropriate’ or removing them from the space, they were more worried about us,” he said.

From the story:

The students regrouped outside on the steps of the Chapel to provide further explanation of their 12 demands. Several supportive alumni joined them, even offering suggestions for how to update their manifesto, Walk noted.

“I think when we walked out all of us were kind of shaken by the negative feedback, but so many alumni came up to us and were like, ‘Thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for continuing this work,’” Walk said.

Back inside the auditorium, David Henderson, Trinity ‘68, connected the students’ protest to the 1968 Vigil [see here] in a comment to Price during the Q&A session after his speech.

“Nobody in the administration thought that what we did was appropriate. In history it has come to be enshrined,” Henderson said. …

In a group statement, the protesters condemned any potential punishments.

“What an incredible irony it would be if in the midst of celebrating a history of activism, Duke is considering punishing the current generation of organizers on campus and the student groups, faculty and alumni that support us,” they wrote.

So, not only should upset alumni have been reprimanded instead of those protesting, the protesters should face absolutely no consequences for their actions!

And, the poor souls, “with impending finals and the start of summer, maintaining energy [for protests] may be difficult.”

UPDATE: They’re still at it:

[…] having student conduct send you a letter is somewhat traumatizing. That, coupled with having some old white people yell ridiculous things at your face. In terms of adults who have reached out to us, whose job is to care for us, they just haven’t, and so we’ve been holding each other up.

MORE: Duke protesters interrupt president’s speech, get booed

MORE: Duke hosts ‘Confronting White Fragility’ workshop

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 18 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.