A Christian university in Indiana has announced that it will keep Vice President Mike Pence as its graduation commencement speaker in light of some students and alumni taking issue with the vice president’s invitation.
Taylor University — a private evangelical Christian school in Upland, Indiana — announced Pence would be delivering the address at the school’s May commencement. The invitation, however, did not sit well with some students and alumni, who launched a Change.org petition to have the university rescind its offer.
According to Fox News, one alumnus of the university said on Facebook that the school “should be ashamed” for inviting Pence to speak and that they felt “personally attacked” by the invitation. They also said that they were “shaking” because of it.
The petition, which is sitting at just over 3,600 signatures, claims that inviting Pence and “giving him a coveted platform for his political views makes our alumni, faculty, staff and current students complicit in the Trump-Pence Administration’s policies.”
In response, Taylor University spokesman James Garringer defended the decision in a statement:
“Since making the announcement of Vice President Mike Pence’s upcoming commencement speech, we have received feedback from people on either side of the issue. Taylor University is an intentional Christian community that strives to encourage positive, respectful and meaningful dialogue.”
“We look forward to hosting the vice president next month,” he added.
An alumnus of the university, Kevin Holtsberry, appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Monday to call the petition an “example” that points to how “our culture seems unable to separate disagreement with personal attacks and threats to our very identity.”
Watch the video below:
Holtsberry went on to react to the university’s announcement of keeping Pence as its commencement speaker, saying that he was “very nervous initially that the overwhelming vocal minority” would influence his university’s decision but was glad the school took a “solid stance” on the issue.