Ephs blast selection of Bloomberg for commencement
Students at Williams College exercised their right to free speech last week to protest Michael Bloomberg’s impending commencement address.
Approximately 30 students at the small Massachusetts school gathered to protest “the lack of inclusiveness at Williams,” stemming in part from the college’s recent decision to slate the former New York City mayor to campus for commencement.
“Bloomberg spied on Muslim students, we too are Williams,” read one sign carried by a student.
The New York City Police Department came under fire in 2012 when they were accused of racially profiling Muslims not only in the city, but also in Newark, N.J., despite then-Mayor Cory Booker’s apparent knowledge.
“We don’t target individuals based on race or religion. We follow leads,” Bloomberg said.
During his tenure as NYC mayor, Bloomberg left a legacy of ruling with a regulatory fist. He worked to ban smoking and large soft drinks and regulated trans fats.
Last week’s demonstration at Williams, a private institution, was not organized by any one particular student group. The students met with Williams’ President Adam Falk over lunch where he read all of their written demands, including an apology to the Williams community, the creation of a committee that would allow graduating seniors to vote for their commencement speaker, and an acknowledgement that Bloomberg is an unacceptable selection.
Jim Kolesar, a spokesperson for Williams, confirmed to Campus Reform that there are no plans to change Bloomberg’s keynote address.
Bloomberg is a Massachusetts native. The billionaire will receive an honorary degree at the June 8 graduation ceremony.
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