This is the time of year for graduation, and lots of commencement speeches are being heard by graduates all over the world. On Sunday, May 21, Vice President Mike Pence delivered a commencement address to some of the graduating students at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The word "some" is used because not all of the students stayed to hear what he had to say. More than a hundred graduates, along with their families, walked out of the ceremony as the vice president began his speech.

Trump originally invited

President Donald Trump was originally invited to deliver the Commencement speech at the prominent Catholic university because the honor is usually given to the newly inaugurated president.

Trump would have been the seventh sitting president to have spoken. However, students and faculty protested his coming.

Thousands signed a petition, so Notre Dame’s president Rev. John Jenkins decided to invite Pence instead. Everyone agreed on Pence since he was a former governor of Indiana and has ties to the state. Besides, Trump is on a nine-day five-country trip in the Middle East and Europe.

Why graduates walked out

The walkout had been planned in advance, and officials knew about it. However, they did nothing to stop it. Paul Browne, vice president for public affairs and communications, said things like this have happened at Notre Dame before. In fact, there have been protests of presidents and vice presidents several times in the past.

It seems like the school allows it as long as students and their families walk out quietly without disrupting the ceremony.

Some graduates had planned in advance to walk out as Pence received an honorary degree. Others had planned to protest outside the stadium.

During the ceremony, valedictorian Caleb Joshua Pine, who takes issue with Trump's administration, encouraged the graduates to take a stand and walk out.

Students protested against Pence because of his position against immigration and gay rights as well as going along with Trump's policies. At the beginning of his speech, the vice president did receive some applause before people began to walk out quietly.

Graduating student Cassandra Dimaro and her parents told the South Bend Tribune that they walked out to show solidarity for those who have been impacted by President's Trump's policies.

In contrast to the speech at Notre Dame on Sunday, Pence spoke at Grove City College near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on Saturday. No one walked out during that ceremony, but some did protest outside the facility.

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