This year’s hottest commencement ticket

Bill Clinton’s “Class Day” talk to graduating seniors at Princeton looked all set to be this year’s hottest commencement-related ticket, it being all surrounded by political irony and what not. Until now. Sorry to disappoint, Prinetonians, but this year’s must-have ticket is for the commencement address at Nova Southeastern University in Florida on May 7. The speaker? Salman Rusdie, whose selection ...

608748_clinton.thumbnail5.jpg
608748_clinton.thumbnail5.jpg

Bill Clinton's "Class Day" talk to graduating seniors at Princeton looked all set to be this year's hottest commencement-related ticket, it being all surrounded by political irony and what not. Until now. Sorry to disappoint, Prinetonians, but this year's must-have ticket is for the commencement address at Nova Southeastern University in Florida on May 7. The speaker? Salman Rusdie, whose selection has started a firestorm of controversy both at NSU and within the academy. Muslim students are threatening to skip the ceremony, while Stanley Fish, a New York Times blogger and law professor, has a post that, as I read it, argues for banning Rushdie from ever giving a commencement address in America. It's behind the Times Select firewall, but here's how Fish sides with Farheen Parvez, a student who plans to boycott her graduation because Rushdie is the speaker:

Ms. Parvez had it exactly right when she said, “If he was here for any other event, that would have been fine, because that’s optional. But having him at graduation, it’s not appropriate because that’s for the families and the students.” When you’re the proud parent of a graduating son or daughter, the last thing you want to hear is something that will make you think. You want to hear something that will make you feel good. Professor Smith asserted, “The choice of Rushdie as speaker inspires questions, invites challenges and embodies larger issues… .” That’s precisely the problem.

 

Bill Clinton’s “Class Day” talk to graduating seniors at Princeton looked all set to be this year’s hottest commencement-related ticket, it being all surrounded by political irony and what not. Until now. Sorry to disappoint, Prinetonians, but this year’s must-have ticket is for the commencement address at Nova Southeastern University in Florida on May 7. The speaker? Salman Rusdie, whose selection has started a firestorm of controversy both at NSU and within the academy. Muslim students are threatening to skip the ceremony, while Stanley Fish, a New York Times blogger and law professor, has a post that, as I read it, argues for banning Rushdie from ever giving a commencement address in America. It’s behind the Times Select firewall, but here’s how Fish sides with Farheen Parvez, a student who plans to boycott her graduation because Rushdie is the speaker:

Ms. Parvez had it exactly right when she said, “If he was here for any other event, that would have been fine, because that’s optional. But having him at graduation, it’s not appropriate because that’s for the families and the students.” When you’re the proud parent of a graduating son or daughter, the last thing you want to hear is something that will make you think. You want to hear something that will make you feel good. Professor Smith asserted, “The choice of Rushdie as speaker inspires questions, invites challenges and embodies larger issues… .” That’s precisely the problem.

 

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