The UMass Community Stood Against Card

And they stood tall.  During the graduate commencement students, faculty, and friends and family in the audience protested Andrew Card’s recognition by the University leadership:

AMHERST, Mass. —Hundreds of students and faculty erupted in a chorus of boos Friday when President Bush’s former chief of staff Andrew Card rose to accept his honorary doctorate in public service at the University of Massachusetts, blaming him in part for the Iraq war.

It was more than just hundreds.  Check out the video (courtesy Mirth):

The anti card signs absolutely cover the faculty, students and audience.  As Logan Murphy wonders over at Crook and Liars:

Frankly, I have a hard time understanding why UMass would even entertain the thought of awarding Card an honorary degree, especially after hearing the recent testimony of Former Deputy Attorney General James Comey detailing his disturbing and highly unethical bedside hackery meeting in John Ashcroft’s hospital room in 2004 with then White House Counsel, Alberto Gonzales.

This really hurt the University’s credibility, as the Boston Globe article goes on to note:

The controversy over Card’s degree comes a month after students at the UMass-Boston campus began pushing for the school to revoke an honorary degree given to Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe.

While he was hailed as a humane revolutionary when he received the degree in 1986, Mugabe has since come under international criticism for running a corrupt and oppressive government.

Sigrid Schmalzer hit it right on the nose:

Sigrid Schmalzer, an assistant professor of history, said she believes Card was honored because he’s well-connected and UMass thought he could somehow help the school.

“For the university to so cynically disregard the question of intellectual integrity when it becomes convenient to pursue money and power is the wrong message to send,” she said.

Fortunately professors like Ms. Schmalzer and like-principled students, family and friends rallied against Card.  Watching such a strong response issue forth from the UMass community makes me damn proud to be an alumnus.

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