Robert Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley was supposed to be the commencement speaker at Haverford College in Pennsylvania. Instead, William Bowen, former president of Princeton University did the honors. Students protested Birgeneau’s selection, so he became the latest in a string of commencement speakers who backed out of the commitment. The students were fired up over the former president’s handling of students who protested on the Berkeley campus as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement.
According to the New York Post, 40 students and three professors voiced opposition to Birgeneau’s selection. “The group wanted Birgeneau to apologize, support payments for victims and write a letter to Haverford students explaining his position on the events and ‘what you learned from them,’” the paper writes.
“I am disappointed that those who wanted to criticize Birgeneau’s handling of events at Berkeley chose to send him such an intemperate list of ‘demands,’” Bowen said. And that’s not all.