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Posted on Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

Momentum building for movement opposing Rick Snyder's University of Michigan commencement speech

By Nathan Bomey

University of Michigan students are organizing to oppose the recommended appointment of Gov. Rick Snyder as the university's 2011 spring commencement speaker.

An online petition drive to convince the Board of Regents to reject Snyder's appointment had already collected 1,483 signatures from students and U-M staff as of 7:18 p.m. Monday.

The university announced this morning that President Mary Sue Coleman would recommend that the Board of Regents approve Snyder as the April 30 commencement speaker.


Gov. Rick Snyder, pictured with DTE Energy CEO Gerry Anderson and University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman at an event in February, will deliver U-M's spring commencement address, if the U-M Board of Regents approves his appointment Thursday.

Angela Cesere |

The petition against Snyder also calls for the university to stop inviting politicians to deliver its commencement addresses, a rule that would have prevented President Barack Obama from speaking at the 2010 spring ceremony.

U-M student Rick Durance, who started the petition against Snyder, said he was turned off by Snyder's budget proposal — which includes business tax cuts, a pension tax increase and funding cuts to a wide range of programs, including higher education — and pending "emergency financial manager" legislation.

"I find the fact that he’s cutting higher education by 15 percent and showing up at a public school commencement to be hypocritical at the very least," Durance said. "People really would like to see someone more inspirational. They don’t find our governor inspirational, which I think is telling."

Separately, a Facebook group created to organize a protest is also gaining momentum. As of 7:18 p.m., 447 Facebook users said they were planning to attend an anti-Snyder commencement protest, which is set to take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Diag on U-M's Central Campus.

The board plans to vote Thursday on whether to give Snyder the commencement podium.

U-M senior political science major Zach Goldsmith said he's organizing the protest to provide a forum for what he described as a "huge backlash" sparked by the commencement announcement.

Goldsmith said that because of Snyder's policies, he was "very shocked" at Coleman's decision to recommend Snyder be appointed as commencement speaker.

"I can think of few people who would have been a worse choice and would have been more unpopular at Michigan," Goldsmith said. "He wants to shore up the budget on the backs of the poor and the backs of the elderly, which are hurting because of the economy."

If the Board of Regents approves Snyder's appointment, Goldsmith urged graduates to turn their backs to Snyder during the commencement address.

Sara Wurfel, a spokeswoman for Snyder, said in an e-mail: "The governor appreciates and strongly respects this exercise in democracy. But he’s also committed to forging ahead and tackling misinformation and the tough issues, like he said he’d do, and building a solid and strong Michigan that works for everyone. The proposed budget and tax plan is based on fairness and preserving core safety net services while improving and strengthening our economy so ALL can prosper and benefit."

Kelly Cunningham, U-M spokeswoman, said it was premature for the university to comment on the petition.

"The governor was chosen, not only because it is tradition to invite the state's newly elected chief executive to present the commencement address, but also because the governor's distinguished accomplishments in both the public and private sectors makes him uniquely positioned to tell our graduates about the challenges and rewards of leadership," Cunningham said in an e-mail.

Goldsmith added that he was disappointed by Coleman's choice for speaker.

"I don't understand. She's a smart woman. She's the head of the state's leading university and the state's leading university is on the chopping block," Goldsmith said. "Most of Rick Snyder's cronies escaped the chopping block. They're getting tax breaks."

In an interview last month, Coleman said she "understood that there has to be sacrifice."

"I can look at the numbers, I can look at the revenue and I just have realized that it takes a brave governor to tackle every little piece of it, and that’s what he’s trying to do," she said. "We need to get our financial house in order in this state."

The petition against Snyder's commencement address calls for the university to consider naming film director Spike Lee or CNN journalist Anderson Cooper as the replacement. Lee is scheduled to receive an honorary degree from U-M at spring commencement, and Cooper is praised in the petition for publicly defending Michigan Student Assembly President Chris Armstrong last year.

Durance said students "are more enthusiastic about celebrities and movie directors." He said politics don't have a place in commencement ceremonies.

"Honestly, graduation should be the one moment where we can come together and transcend this," he said.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.


Ann Arbor

Mon, Apr 4, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Kudos to Zach Goldsmith. My vote's for Anderson Cooper!

Ann Arbor

Mon, Apr 4, 2011 : 5:31 p.m.

It will be interesting to see if anything actually comes of this petition, or if the student drive to have a new commencement speaker dies down with time. Guess we'll see in a few weeks.

Ann Arbor

Sun, Apr 3, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

call an entrepreneur for the commencement address. Remember the popular steve jobs, bill gates speeches??

Ann Arbor

Sun, Apr 3, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

I strongly agree with the students! We NEED a new speaker!!!!


Sat, Mar 19, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

I am not sure that Snyder is the best example for our U of M graduates. He seemed less than candid during his campaign, alleging a good deal of creation in Michigan [but where did those jobs go??? Now he's seems to be planning to meet Michigan's debt burden on the backs of the old and the poor in order to"unburden" Michigan's businesses. I would rather see a speaker with people - oriented views be that speaker this year. djm

Brad Flory

Thu, Mar 17, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.

"I find the fact that he's cutting higher education by 15 percent and showing up at a public school commencement to be hypocritical at the very least," Durance said. Logic like that makes me slightly embarrassed to have a daughter attending U-M.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 8:04 p.m.

People should be embarrassed for the comments they leave. How many posters here will be at the commencement graduating? Yeah, I think that ship passed many decades ago for most of you, including myself. These students are voting adults, not children and should not be treated with such a prejudice manner. I wonder how many of you would say the things you do here to someone's face? These students have every right to voice their opinion and follow the process of filing a petition. They don't need to hear the hatred towards the right to left and vice versa.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

It would be a delight to see Snyder speak at U-M's graduation --- just so long as he shares the dais at the same time with Wisconsin's very honorable Gov. Mubarak. In fact, it'd be a fun experiment to experience the two of them speaking to the assembled crowd simultaneously.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 2:03 a.m.

People don't want him speaking at commencement because his budget is a direct assault on public education in Michigan. He is cutting funding to k-12, public universities, and eliminating tax deductions for university donations - how much more blatant could he be? One term nerd!

American Family

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Who in their right mind will really care what a bunch of "ultra left leaning Socialists with no clue about the real world as mommy and daddy still pay their bills" think? University of Michigan students need to learn this... The University of Michigan is a State college. Gov. Rick Snyder is the head of the State of Michigan. Hence he has every right to visit, talk, or do what ever he likes to do at ANY state college in Michigan.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 3:59 p.m.

Gee. I'm certain that resorting to the ad hominem is the best way to prove one's point. And it's soooooooo mature. Point well made, AmFam. Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 7:22 p.m.

Gov. Snyder has not been honest with us. Do we even need another reason why he should not be given the podium at the U of M's commencement? Gov. Snyder (and Republicans in general) are part of an ideological movement and they believe in a whole bunch of stuff that's not very popular. That being said, there are some policies in the ideological Republican playbook that a lot of people like: everyone likes a tax break. But if you talk about you're privatizing the local water system, busting unions, privatizing entire towns, things like this, if you run an election and say this is what I plan to do, —chances are you will lose that election. And candidate Snyder knew this and did not utter a peep about his plans of "disaster capitalism," should he be elected to office. Candidate Snyder only spoke of "re-inventing Michigan and innovation." Now in office, Gov. Snyder doesn't believe he has to win the argument any more. He just has to say the sky is falling in. We have to do this. This is step one in his consolidation of power. We remember this from the Bush administration. They did this at the federal level. After 9/11, they said, we have a crisis, and we have to essentially rule by fiat. A graduation commencement is far too grand an occasion for the likes of a Rick Snyder.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 6:08 p.m.

Just bring a couple dozen boom boxes and drown him out.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 5:20 p.m.

All these liberals in the state whining about the powers of the emergency financial managers sound like petulant 20 year old princesses after daddy took his credit card back to stop an irresponsible spending spree.

Paper or Plastic

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 5:15 p.m.

I don't recall the rightys raising such a fuss last year. Miss govenor made me ill when she fell all over Obama and forgot to congratulate the graduates.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 5:59 p.m.

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Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

all over the media-&quot;Rick Snyder imposes financial martial rule in Mich&quot; why is this a track record to embrace ? Freedom, democracy and American values might be better themes than listening to one who imposes third world country practices. It is quite bizarre to pick him...


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:36 p.m.

I'm a friend of small and large business, but I'm also a friend of higher ed and democratic institutions. The governor is only a friend of the former. Bad choice for commencement speaker. I listened to him in the debates for governor and he was pathetic. Totally non-inspiring. He would do better at a Rotary Club not an inspirational speaker for UofM students. A much better choice would be anyone trying to lift Detroit and the state out of economic duress (not on the backs of poor people and government workers). Dave Bing would have better choice or maybe even a young Detroiter such as Mitch Cope. Maybe the UofM had this guy penciled in way ahead of time, because any thought on the issue would have eliminated him due to his disregard for the mission of the university. It's not an issue of free speech; it's an issue of UofM values at a time when the state and country is reeling from attacks on higher ed and democratic institutions.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 2:34 a.m.

He is a successful alumnus, businessman, entrepreneur and is the democratically-elected Governor of the State of Michigan who is doing the latter job essentially for free. That single sentence alone is enough to invite him to speak. Your suggestions are fine too, and I wouldn't disagree that they might be good speakers, but that does not mean that Gov. Snyder is not worthy of the honor.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:06 p.m.

I think the main point is that Mr. Snyder is proposing altering education money, which makes him seem like an odd choice here. If you ask most people, this is what makes for a head scratching moment when you hear his name brought up for this. I don't think it has much of anything to do with left or right, even though certain people seem to be trying their hardest to turn it into such a debate. (Which is expected in 3 out of 4 comment areas these days... sadly.) Ultimately, I have to agree with those students who are saying it is their graduation. Whichever way you're believing concerning this, if you are a U of M student, now is your time to stand up and raise your voice. This spring IS your moment, and you have every right to be heard in concern to how it happens. Exercise your rights.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:36 p.m.

The best part of any commencement is when it's over, but too many schools demand graduates be there to hear the inspiring cant that has been said many times in many places or no diploma. Forced attendance for the faithful. Commencement addresses are redundant pap, not inspiring.

Ty W

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:45 p.m.

Some students do not want the Govenor to speak because they do not agree with him helping Business in Michigan. Wow! I would assume the reason most of you spent the money to get an education at Michigan is because of the opportunity it will give you in the job market when you graduate. Wake up! Who do you think will be hiring you? Well, maybe you will just have to move out of the State to get a job or become a liberal politician!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 6:15 p.m.

most of us don't want him to speak because we disagree with his education cuts, and because the Governor always speaks at commencement anyways, so hiring him as the main speaker too seems kind of like a cop out. And yes, most of us are going out of state for jobs--we're highly qualified thanks to our umich education, and many students are getting high paying offers in NY and on the west coast. So I think you're incorrect in implying that we all went to michigan in order to get a leg up in the michigan job market. Keep in mind it's our graduation, not the ann arbor/ypsi communities. Why do you all even care?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

&quot; I was at the Obama graduation, and he did a great job of delivering an inspirational and gracious address. &quot; Seriously? What was so inspiring? He had a teleprompter and spoke in platitudes. If it was me, give me the diploma and I'm out. Sitting through any of these type of things would be like sitting through a sales seminar.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

Oooh, he had a teleprompter!! Gasp! Actually it is another thing in a long list he has in common with Ronald Reagan.

Dante Marcos

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

"Sara Wurfel, a spokeswoman for Snyder, said in an e-mail: 'The governor appreciates and strongly respects this exercise in democracy. But he's also committed to forging ahead and tackling misinformation and the tough issues, like he said he'd do, and building a solid and strong Michigan that works for everyone [who makes over $300,000 per year]. The proposed budget and tax plan is based on fairness and preserving core safety net services while improving and strengthening our economy so ALL [corporations] can prosper and benefit.' "


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

Do not let facts get in the way of a rant Dante. A quick online search and you would have quickly learned Governor Snyder is on record that he is going to re-pay the State all but $1.00 of his $159,300 annual salary. That is a salary about 1/3 what the coordinators for the UM Football team make...and less than your own UM President.

Moscow On The Huron

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:06 p.m.

How did I know that leftie students would be trying to undermine this? Their predictability and hypocrisy is amazing. Everybody has a voice! Power to the people! Oh, well, except those who don't parrot our destructive agenda.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

Can you direct me to Ann Arbor Central Business Planning? I would like to get the output quota numbers for this month, along with worker distribution spreadsheets. Oh, that stuff does not exist. See, I was fooled into thinking that the business hub of SE MI was communist.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

WOW! Stereotypes galore! UM students opposed to cuts in education funding? Well they must be fans of Che Guevera, can't be any other explanation. Nope. People opposed to a Gov that ran on no specifics then plans on taxing pensions while cutting taxes for Amway? They must want to see Charlie Sheen! There could be no other person. Spike Lee, a self made millionaire with a degree from a top ranked University? Communist! People need to calm down and stop channeling Glenn Beck/Rush. Do know anything more American than political discourse? Is it not the RIGHT of students to form petitions and petition their government? Is this the New America, where freedom of assembly and the right to petition are now regarded as some kind of left wing conspiracy? Snyder is our new gov, he has experience in business. But he is a flaccid speaker and has said he wants to cut education spending in a time of high tech job growth requiring a highly educated workforce. It is perfectly reasonable to think that students might have a problem with him as their commencement speaker. Nope, they must want Charlie Sheen! (how many jobs is he creating with his tax break?)


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:45 p.m.

@skotsky at 10:23 AM on March 15, 2011 ----- Are you sure? Pfizer used breaks to create jobs...oh, nope bad example. Kohls in Wisconsin got a $45 million subsidy to create 1000 jobs, they added 240...hmmm another bad example... Wait, i know there is one here somewhere... I joke, but the MBT has to go. I think there is little debate about that. We do need a simpler business tax code in MI. We do need more business. But, we also need education. Maybe &quot;shared sacrifice&quot; in reality instead of in theory?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:23 p.m.

Tax breaks don't create jobs.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:13 p.m.

I also question the selection of Governor Snyder at this time. He is new to this job and unproven in terms of merit and ability. His rather autocratic approach while appropriate for a CEO is not congruent with the messy process of democracy. I suggest waiting to invite him for this honor. He will prove himself or not, as helpful and constructive to Michigan.

Moscow On The Huron

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

&quot;He is new to this job and unproven in terms of merit and ability.&quot; ... &quot;His rather autocratic approach&quot; ... But last year I learned that this is exactly what qualifies one as a graduation speaker at U of M.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:54 p.m.

And President Obama was not new to his job last year?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:19 p.m.

Bring back the Anointed one, he can maybe enlighten these unfortunate graduates with his rhetoric about his only change, from Iraq to Afghanistan, plenty of jobs open in the military. He did such a great job last time, maybe his lasting impressions will sure be appreciated and give inspiration to those that seek his wisdom. I think Michael Moore would have more inspirational or better yet how about Sheen, Mr. Tiger Blood?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

Maybe we should've invited Grandholm instead- I bet she'd come if we could just divert some QE II money for her reception and motorcade costs.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 11:34 a.m.

Since it appears that there will not and cannot be a consensus speaker for commencement, graduation or whatever name it is going by this year, let's select someone that everyone opposes. At least it will serve to unify the diverse vocal populations appearing on My proposed speaker = Jim (Sweatervest) Tressel speaking on &quot;Some positive aspects of corruption and criminal activity in collegiate athletics&quot;. (No honorary degree to be given)


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 11:31 a.m.

This is pathetic. Obama gives a commencement about the importance of civil discourse, which was well received (as it should be) by the community. The next year, the community wants to refuse to hear a speaker who proposed budget cuts they don't like. Two observations. 1. Hypocrisy sucks, either from the right or left. We shouldn't tolerate it any more. 2. UM should require some courses in economics. Then maybe these students would understand that the money isn't there, and Snyder can't create it from thin air. Granholm drove business away from this state for years, and the result is low tax revenues. Snyder is trying to attract business to build back up revenue so we can pay for things like education. Reality may stink, but you can't wish it away.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 11:15 a.m.

In U of M's usual whacky way of thinking, perhaps reverse psychology is at work here. Invite Snyder to speak, give him a honorary degree (which I believe they are) and give him a lot of attention and perhaps he'll go easy on higher education. The U of M administration are not known for their intellectual savvy, politically or sports-wise, but some blundering discussion must have gone on here and they stumbled on a strategy that might just work. If it was deliberate hubris to invite Snyderman to speak, then it's business as usual for the higher ups at the University.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:54 a.m.

Mary Sue Coleman should look in the mirror and resign for such chagrin.

Nathan Bomey

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:36 a.m.

FYI I've added fresh statements from Snyder's spokeswoman and the university's spokeswoman.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:26 a.m.

I like how people are complaining that we are trying to suppress free speech, while simultaneously trying to suppress the petition. It is fully within our rights to petition this choice, and it is our free speech to challenge a decision that we do not agree with. No one is saying that Gov. Snyder should be jailed for his views, just that we disagree with this decision and would like someone else. There's nothing wrong with that. Should the Regents ignore the request to change the speaker, I will sit quietly at graduation and hear what Snyder has to say, and I hope that everyone else who signed the petition will do the same. I won't protest then, but until the decision is 100% final, it is within my rights to complain about this selection and to try and get it changed while it is still a possibility.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:18 a.m.

Here's the real bitter but truthful pills, that the Snyder supporters don't want to deal with: 1: He was voted in by a 58% majority but his proposals only help the smallest but richest minority in the state; 2. He is an elected official that is suppose to govern within the Constitution of the United States not mangle democratic rights to become a dictator; 3. He is being scheduled to talk at a public university, which receives public funding, teaches core democratic principals of govern yet his proposals takes money away from public entities and basically destroy democratic rights; and lastly 4. Snyder gives a talk at a public university, in which he's pulling funding, destroying unions, middle class, professionals, state workers who protect us, public schools, taxing the pensions of most of the parents whose children attend UM, planning to take over cities/towns/schools with no recourse from people...all the while sending his child to private schools (which are left untouched).... How do you like your Governor now, when's he's creating the Great Dictatorship of MI all in the name of a fiscal crisis he made bigger (1.4 billion to 3.2 billion)?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:14 a.m.

&quot;The petition against Snyder's commencement address calls for the university to consider naming film director Spike Lee or CNN journalist Anderson Cooper as the replacement.&quot; Are you kidding me?! Spike Lee?! Anderson Cooper?! This confirms all of my previous observations of U o M students. The majority of them have absolutely NO common sense! But what do you expect from a University and City that politically spins everything to their favor! U of M and EMU are trying to brainwash their students that have absolutely no clue. Pretty much my whole life I've paid attention to politics, the news and world events. I started going to EMU in my 30's and it sickens me to hear the crap that they are teaching their students! The students need to wake up! Don't believe everything your Professor tells you. Do your own research and think for yourself! I don't see you liberals out protesting Obama because he has not closed Gitmo or because we're still in Afghanistan and Iraq?! But you were all over it when Bush was in office. This is the hypocritical left hating on the Republican party to get their politicians in office! Hopefully, the rest of the United States will wake up to your ways and replace Obama in 2012! Obama, The &quot;President&quot; who thinks there are 57 states!


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 11:48 a.m.

&quot;This confirms all of my previous observations of *U of M* students.&quot;

Go Blue

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:11 a.m.

Yes, well, how many of you got off your butts and voted? This entire fiasco with Kermit could have been avoided but I do believe there were many voters who took the complacent approach, figuring things would be just fine. Well, this is what it gets you - complete demolition of what is important to the non big business person. Stick around for the main feature - it will only get better (worse). Everything you hold near and dear will be wiped out - sacrificed to big business. Happy now? Next time take a proactive approach. Money talks, yes, but it could have been defeated. Live and learn. The next four years should be a joy.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:47 a.m.

Snyder has made pervasively alarming interpretations of his office which palpably offend the constitutional approach to society and its defenders. He has been employed in the public sector for only six weeks, for heavans sakes. So insensitive of an appointment to public education podium screams quid pro quo and the query what such is. Mary Sue Coleman should be fired for such conduct.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

@donbee At every single turn, Scott Walker has crapped out any credibility in public service. He has fleeced the People of Wisconsin to balance meeting his obligations to the uber-wealthy he squared within minutes of inauguration. He remains in office only because Wisconsin law doesn't permit his recall until the second year. He is a tax payed louse. The amazing part is he looks like George Washington compared to the overly rickety Snyder in the once great state of Michigan. These are the clearest domestic threats our country has faced and charges officials to protect against.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

So then Scott Walker is a just plain no, for you I guess?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:37 a.m.

Allison: You did it all by yourself? No help from anyone? Well, except your teachers, right? Except your family and friends, right? Except for the alumni who support the University, right? Except for the State of Michigan which supports the University, right? Maybe it's not all about you after all. As for Governor Snyder and cuts to public education, where do you think would be a better place for him to discuss this than at the University of Michigan? Maybe he'll explain that he's trying to help small businesses and hopes you'll use your education to help start one. Then you, and your employees, can increase the tax base to help support future students.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Nice comment (sarcasm). She earned her way into the school, which is not an easy feat and you do not know her personal experiences regards to finishing. Comments like your only make people not like what you stand for. It is rude and disrespectful. Are you graduating this spring? How does it affect you and your life? I think she is entitled to her opinions without attack.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:50 p.m.

Margie - By the state constitution, there can be NO debt. Thank the sitting Federal Government for adding $700 million in Medicaid spending that Michigan HAS to pony up, yes that is the Health Care Reform Act at work. Then add the fact that Governor Grandholm and the prior government of Michigan spent all the stimulus funds (they were good for 1 more year). The result - a need to balance the budget on an even bigger unfunded federal mandate. The constitution prohibits states from printing money and the unfunded mandate gets bigger each of the next 3 years.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:32 a.m.

Hook! Line! Sinker! VooDoo Economics Republican Style. Another false belief that tax cuts to small businesses which increases our debt will actually bring jobs. I guess giving tax cuts to the wealthy that pushes our debts to 3.4 billion trumps our democratic rights, strong public education for all students (unlike private schools/charters that play by different rules) and that cities, schools, middle class &amp; the poor should bear the burden of these cuts so that the rich can get richer. I guess it doesn't matter as long we can support those future students educated at those public schools who won't be going to UM in the future because they'll be too busy working at their $10 jobs, protesting more jobs going to China (similar to Gateway) or maybe their loss of their democratic right to elect their own public officials. The only students going to UM will be the children of the wealthy who went to private school in order to learn how to destroy more of your democratic rights that was so easily taken from by the Millionaire Gov.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:56 a.m.

Just as the housing bubble of the Baby Bush administration has revealed, the risk of those businesses prematurely considered going under for THE WINDFALL of Rick's slicks, cannot be denied. This is the fur of US Constitutional mandate of Separation of Powers, pure and simple. If um taught this guy law they should loose their accreditation. Period

Yeah buddy

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:36 a.m.

I like all the people saying that he is a bad choice to speak because he is cutting some education funding to fund budget cuts for corporations. Who needs a job when they finish college?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:17 a.m.

The moral of this whole story is: ITS OUR GRADUATION!! It seems like most of the people who are so opposed to us expressing our freedom of speech are not UofM Seniors. This is our graduation, not yours. You may have your opinions, but the truth is, this won't effect you. You haven't worked hard at one of the best schools in the country to only graduate with a speaker who blatantly disregards the public education that we love so much. We will petition and we will protest because this is ours to petition and protest for.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:52 p.m.

I completely agree with you. Instead you get a lot of old heads posting on here based off their own personal political views. Majority of these people posting don't care about the students or Ann Arbor. The day you graduate should be a celebration. Snyder, unfortunately is seen as the like the grim reaper to many.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:19 p.m.

Jerome &quot;Time after time among the student population, the liberal candidate not only defeats the conservative candidate, but more often than not defeats the conservative candidate by large margins.&quot; I certainly believe that there are more liberal students than conservative. BUT the reason might be that there are more liberal students voting for a handout than not!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

To lumberg48108: You speak like one who claims to be a conservative, with made up facts and half truths. For you to say that &quot;there are just as many conservative students, they are just not as vocal for fear of not fitting in&quot; is just another made up untruth by one who claims to be a conservative. In 2008, in looking at the student vote, the Obama/Biden ticket crushed the McCain/Palin ticket. Time after time among the student population, the liberal candidate not only defeats the conservative candidate, but more often than not defeats the conservative candidate by large margins. Just because you post something (such as &quot;there are just as many conservative students&quot;), does not make it true. Untruths and half-truths by those who claim to be conservative is why this country is in the sad shape it's in today.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:33 a.m.

it is your graduation - but the majority of the posters seem to be of the mind that U-M students only protest conservative/republican speakers (even Barara Bush was a target years ago for chrissakes) and rarely do conservative students (and there are just as many, just not as vocal for fear of not fitting in) protest or complain with anyone named Clinton or Obama speaks ... in other words - they can deal with it but you cant dont you see the hypocrisy?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:13 a.m.

This is so funny! First we have the UofM trespassing rules that are now found ot be in violation of everyones first amendment right -- Now we have another UofM individual that is wanting to suppress speech in that they do not like him as he is conservative.-- what is with the UofM? The left has been shown to be the most bias, self gratifying and selfish group. Play race card at the drop of a hat, continuously attempts to employ the &quot;do as I say, not as I do&quot; mentality-- evident with the violence shown during the recent strikes in Ohio and Wisconsin (remember all the libs after the Az shooting and the need to get along?). Such jibberish from the left ---- and this so called student and his lack of understanding hypocrisy should really give concern to those at the UofM who actually taught this sorry excuse for a student......


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:51 a.m.

Listen everyone I think everything is the fault of the right or a great conspiracy by the right! It was the right wing nuts that kidnapped the Lindbergh baby! It was the far right that dragged us into World War 2. And corporate America is to blame for the Great Chicago Fire! Please keep you kids indoors and do not let your college students hear different points of view. Just insert this into the end of any post and there will be no need for some to respond, because you will have stolen their thunder. lol!

Joe Serwach

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:28 a.m.

Worth noting: the Facebook petition they started early this morning only collected about 90 signers as of 10 p.m. tonight while this list of partial email addresses (not even whole email addresses let alone full names that can be verified) tops 1,000. I'm graduating this term and got the request for the Facebook petition -- but not this petition. The disparity between the two doesn't make sense since U-M students are more active on Facebook than on email. This U-M graduate is quite happy to have this Governor speak at our Commencement.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:06 a.m.

The petition linked here (with over 2500 signatures as I'm typing this) is the official petition through U of M's website for ONLY U of M students (you have to put in your 'uniqname' that each student has and sign in). The facebook petition was probably started separately and didn't gain momentum because its open to just people on facebook and people outside of the U of M body. Just scrolling through the list I see plenty of my friends names scattered through there. I didn't sign this petition, I just thought I'd clear that up for you, in case you were implying some sort of foul play or signature forgery. This petition will have at least a thousand more signatures in a day or so, I'd wager. Also, the official petition is being shared on facebook. I've seen many friends post it repeatedly...


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:10 a.m.

Snyder is a TOOL for the RICH


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:04 a.m.

This is not about allowing someone who has a different viewpoint than mine speak at the commencement. This is all about honesty. Gov. Snyder was not upfront with Michigan voters during the campaign. During his campaign for governor, there was not even a peep from Mr. Snyder regarding many of the things that he is doing today in Lansing. Such as, raising taxes on the poor and elderly to the tune of $1.7 billion, so that he can give away a tax break to the richest businesses to the tune of $1.8 billion. For Gov. Snyder, it's all about crisis capitalism, and paybacks to his friends. So, again, it's not about not wanting to hear what the other side has to say. It's all about having someone speak at this very grand occasion who has even a smidgeon of integrity. Shame on the U of M Regents, and shame on Mary Sue Coleman.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:44 p.m.

Facts Jerome, facts please. The increase in taxes is WAY less than you claim. It makes ALL income equal under state law (note the Federal difference are still there). The tax reductions don't go to the richest, they go to the small business folks, plumbers, farmers, and others. Many large businesses will see major tax increases too, since their loopholes and credits disappear.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:48 a.m.

Nope, shame on you for not understanding the MBT and not realizing that the &quot;richest businesses&quot; will pay more under the budget proposal while the small businesses will pay less.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

BTW Kuddos to all the Media Hate/ fear Mongering great job


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:45 a.m.

I plan my encouraging my children to attend a different school because of the hate from these uofm students or whoever is behind them


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.


David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:52 a.m.

macjoint is most likely accurate! &quot;Hate&quot;? No, they just have standards!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.

Nope, it just shows your children need to go there more than ever!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:42 a.m.

I am a retiree from the U of M and was shocked to hear that Governor Snyder might be the Spring commencement speaker. This is not about right wing or left wing. This is about hypocrisy. Blatant hypocrisy. Governor Snyder is cutting public education funds and yet he is invited to a public education institution to speak at commencement? This makes absolutely no sense to me. I can just hear Snyder laughing at us. Talk about adding insult to injury!! I was very happy to read about the movement to stop Snyder from being the commencement speaker. Thank you, Rick Durance, for starting this petition. -Peace, Kitty


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

You don't want to put him in a forum where he has to explain and then listen to the reaction of the crowd?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:46 a.m.

Is there a better place for him to explain cuts to public education?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:32 a.m.

Where is he suppose to come up with the money KittY? More phony &quot;stimulus&quot; money? (a/k/a debt) Perhaps huge tax increases on a work force already leading the country or in the top two with Harry Reid's Nevada, for unemployment?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:42 a.m.

I will continue supporting Snyder but I think he should withdrawal that will send a strong message of Rebuke to many and wait for a few years


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:37 a.m.

&quot;politics don't have a place in commencement ceremonies&quot; Are you kidding me? Remember that guy named Obama last year? I don't remember Zach Durance complaining then.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:42 p.m.

The first minority President, whose speech was NONE- political is far different than a governor known throughout the half nation as the governor that will fire elected officials. If he speaks, I hope he doesn't lose focus that it is about student's graduating.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:31 a.m.

Re: &quot;I'm an open minded college student and want to hear what you think, as long as you agree with me.&quot; -- I think that's entirely inaccurate - not to mention insulting to college students here and everywhere. But it's the inaccuracy (apparently just for the sake of another rightist political jab) that galls. Rick $nyder's opportunities to tell everyone in Michigan &quot;what he thinks&quot; were funded to the tune of millions of &quot;private dollars&quot; used to saturate this state with his &quot;messages&quot; about his &quot;plans.&quot; That's damned plenty &quot;opportunity&quot; and the majority listened and fell for it all. Now that we see his &quot;plans&quot; turning into action (amounting to gutting this state's public services staffing and infrastructure), it's egregious to then &quot;give him another opportunity&quot; to tell Michigan grads (and the rest of the state) his excuses and &quot;alternative explanations&quot; for the destruction he's bringing upon us. For that matter, President Obama's speech didn't show us how he would &quot;change&quot; - into a president who fires state department spokespersons for objecting to the maltreatment of a prisoner held in military custody. Nor did it show us how he would abandon his own universal health care initiative to the Tea Party wolves. So these politicians commencement speeches aren't worth much after all. Just pick someone who is both middle class and literate and let them talk to M grads about getting through life without being stabbed in the back by the politicians we elect.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:40 p.m.

And the Democrats don't use union money or private money from folks like Soros at all? Both sides are guilty at this point of digging more dogma based trench works than the French did in World War I.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:45 a.m.

Yes, it's an insult to college students everywhere. Because when I went to U of M, the point was to learn every side and hear from all points of view. If you learned enough in college, you realized that you really didn't know much of anything (or at least you questioned what you thought you knew). If college students think they no longer need to do that, or if you don't either, then I've got much better zingers to share.

John Roos

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:26 a.m.

Nothing against Rick Snyder but isn't he proposing to cut all kinds of public education in Michigan, (larger class sizes) and isn't U of M an institute of public learning? Spike Lee, Yes! or is it too late for Steve Jobs? Wait Reed Hastings, might be perfect fit. Oh, I know I just poked Mark Zuckerburg on facebook . Now he would be great. I'll bring the coffee. Thanks

Dante Marcos

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

John, I love your coffee, but your political commentary is lacking in insight.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.

John, If you're bringin' the coffee, I'll be there to join you!! Spike Lee is a brilliant, self made man. I can't wait to hear what he has to say!! Heck, maybe George Clooney would come back to town!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:25 a.m.

this is news? a conservative/republican is being rejected by the usual local left wing on - call Guiness!! funny how I dont recal amy right wing groups seriously protesting Obama at U-M to the point is made you know, the racist, conservative, tea party movment that hates Obama ... they welcomed him a yeara go! but the left simply cannot accept ANYONE they dont agree with --- crazy


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

There were definitely people protesting Obama when he came here. They just got kinda lost in the sea of people who didn't give a care about their hate and enjoyed the day. I'm sure you can do a search and find some photos of people carrying signs outside of the stadium... with happy people side stepping them with big smiles on their faces. :-) Kinda like that face right there I just gave you. Big smiles! :-)

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:46 a.m.

I didn't care for the Obama selection, but I wouldn't have signed a petition trying to change the choice. Seems that the far left has no interest in hearing any opinion that differs from its own.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:36 p.m.

That is the pot calling the kettle black! You couldn't have wrote that with a straight face.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

Yes, David, please. I did not know most independent plumbers were billionaires. Maybe we should all skip college and go to trade school.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:03 a.m.

David: The abolishment of the MBT will help small businesses, not rich billionaires. Their businesses pay more under Gov. Snyder's proposal. Do you understand why the MBT is unfair? Are you willing to understand?

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:44 a.m.

1bit, the abolition in 1.8 Billion in business taxes. But, not to worry, the billionaires always make out! They just rent a few more TeaPublicans to do their bidding!!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:39 a.m.

&quot;No, the far left only desires to hear from someone who is not intent on robbing grandma on behalf of his fellow billionaires!&quot; Well I think these might fill the bill then! Charlie Sheen Randy Quaid Snooki Lindsay Lohan Mickey Rourke


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:36 a.m.

David: Please explain how the budget proposal benefits billionaires.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:20 a.m.

No, the far left only desires to hear from someone who is not intent on robbing grandma on behalf of his fellow billionaires!

Christopher LeClair

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:45 a.m.

If you people, who I am assuming are from an older crowd, if you would go take a look at the discussions on facebook you would see what the student body actually thinks about this. This graduation is for them and the rest of the Michigan family, not random Ann Arbor and Ypsi people. Look beyond your own sight and see how the student body actually thinks (and it's again, THEIR graduation)


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:35 p.m.

I agree with you. Many of these commentors are so far removed from this generation. Just because you hit middle age or beyond, does not make you wiser.......... The speaker is for the students greaduating, not the community.

average joe

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 5:35 p.m.

Allison- Good for you for your hard work- But if Gov. Snyder is &quot;a man who completely disregards public education&quot;, then he would completely eliminate all $$ from 'public education', wouldn't he??


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:36 p.m.

Christopher - How does North Campus (engineering) feel about Snyder vs Central Campus (LSA)?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:44 a.m.

Did you miss the last part of that statement I made &quot; We don't want to hear from a man who completely disregards public education.&quot;. Just because Spike Lee is a director, does not mean hes not educated. I think its seriously offensive to lump him in with Snookie. The man has flipping a MFA from NYU! And he has been a constant advocate for improving inner-city schools. So what, because hes a celebrity he must be an empty headed moron? Yeah, that makes sense.... This year we ARE more enthusiastic about a movie director because Spike Lee has not attacked our public education!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

Allison &quot;I believe the University owes all of us a dignified graduation that support all of the hard work we did. We don't want to hear from a man who completely disregards public education.&quot; Durance said students &quot;are more enthusiastic about celebrities and movie directors.&quot; And which celeb would you prefer? Snooki Were you in line for &quot;The Real World&quot; tryouts?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:56 a.m.

&quot;You people&quot;? Seriously? Which people? Us &quot;older crowd&quot; people? Maybe you are not as enlightened as you think. Maybe when you are one of us in the &quot;older crowd&quot; you will realize that the celebration of a graduation (or wedding) is a collective familial achievement and not just that of the individual. Maturity is realizing that it's not always about yourself and hopefully the graduating class has learned that by now.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:41 a.m.

emugrad, Allison is right on target. You should respect and listen!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:29 a.m.

Allison, You might as well have spent your parent's money at the MGM Grand Casino that they on you for tuition; either way is a bust. Your defense to what I stated is to raise up completely non-germane issues? Fail.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:12 a.m.

EMUGrad, why dont you worry about your own university facing a serious security lapse right now? Why should YOU have any say in OUR graduation? I worked hard to get into UofM and I worked hard to graduate from UofM, I believe the University owes all of us a dignified graduation that support all of the hard work we did. We don't want to hear from a man who completely disregards public education.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:59 a.m.

Soooo....the graduating body should only listen during commencement to what they want to hear from a speaker?!? So much for seeking a final example of receiving a life lesson....

Dr. Rockso

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:44 a.m.

Vote Tricky Rick off the Island.

Christopher LeClair

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:34 a.m.

@Marshall Applewhite There are an equal number of students who call less about that fact that he &quot;accomplished something&quot; and more about what he is doing with education cuts. They aren't that simple


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:35 a.m.

The cuts, unfortunately, are necessary at this time. I do like his strategy to limit tuition increases in response to the cuts.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

This movement was started by UM students. He has been recommended to speak at our commencement to tell us that education is important, yet places a much heavier emphasis on the importance of big business in his budget. I want someone who supports me to speak at my graduation, not Rick Synder. Also, the article fails to mention that the petition mentions that they would like SITTING politicians not to be able to be the key speaker. Not all politicians.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:34 p.m.

Anthony - Check your facts, the majority of the tax reductions go to small businesses who are double taxed in Michigan today. Most big businesses lose one or more tax credits or loopholes in the budget.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:41 p.m.

So where was this petion last year when Obama spoke? Students want to exclude only non-liberal politicians. Maybe it would do them good to get an education where they hear both sides of issues.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:34 a.m.

What do you consider &quot;big business&quot;? If it's corporations with shareholders, they will actually pay increased taxes in Gov. Snyder's proposed budget. I don't blame you for not knowing that because Rachel Maddow didn't bother to include that on her show. And what do you plan to do with your education? Hopefully get a job, right? Because, after all. isn't that the point? Maybe, just maybe, you'd be interested in hearing a proposal that may help graduates get jobs. Maybe you'll disagree with what you hear. Maybe you've got a better idea. What's wrong with hearing another side or solution to the argument?

Linda Diane Feldt

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:21 a.m.

I believe Snyder is a very poor choice. His proposal for emergency financial powers that would usurp democratically elected officials is controversial at best, and certainly is an attack on democracy that cannot go unchallenged. A graduation speaker should be welcome by the vast majority of the students, and should be visibly and actively in support of the values of higher education. So far, Snyder is acting in direct opposition to democracy, fairness, and support for those less fortunate. He is not supporting education at any level. I was at the Obama graduation, and he did a great job of delivering an inspirational and gracious address. Granholm unfortunately did not. It isn't just about the politics, it is about the character of the person. I hope Snyder will withdraw.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

EMU grad: you should get your facts straight versus buying into conservative lies. BUSH's administration design and implemented the bank bailout. BUSH's administration designed and committed (right before his departure) the automotive bailout. Obama just followed through and modified the bailout to be a loan with interest. I know they taught you at EMU not to believe everything you hear from the media.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:40 a.m.

you see, facts about the &quot;trickle down&quot; memorial national debt confused you. Aww. I am me and he is he!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:29 a.m.

Linda: Maybe you should ask yourself where U of M gets the money to keep building and renovating. Yes, there are cuts to education but what incentive do they have currently to reduce spending rather than just increasing tuition rates? And maybe, this unfair and anti-democratic man (who was democratically elected, by the way) will help create an atmosphere in Michigan where graduates might actually be able to get jobs.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.

Are you the same &quot;David Briegel&quot; who has long been asociated with Southwestern Michigan College in capacities including President? I suspect not. Obama has been handing out free money left/left/left/and middle to sustain his agenda. Where do come up with &quot;12 trillion&quot; in debt due to &quot;TeaPublican's&quot;? (Nice of you to be respectful and open minded of your opponents.) Support with FACTS...uh wait...the usual downfall of the left.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:17 a.m.

EMUGrad, and you have the same compassion for Pres Obama? Right! Phony money? And your opinion of the Federal Reserve Banksters? That 12 trillion of TeaPublican debt was all noble??


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:29 a.m.

Linda, Governor Snyder is newly elected by a rather large percentage of residents from Michigan. Try listening to what he has to say instead of what your professor has to say about Governor Snyder. Perhaps you might hear how Governor Snyder is having to make the tough financial decisions that were left unaddressed when the state skated by on phony money (debt) from stimulus packages from President Obama.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:15 a.m.

An online petition drive to convince the Board of Regents to reject Snyder's appointment had already collected 1,483 signatures from students and U-M staff as of 7:18 p.m. Monday. Online petition drives mean nothing! You could get 1500 people to sign a petition to elect a dog as president in a heartbeat!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:58 a.m.

&quot;but will you even be attending graduation?&quot; No, and I won't be attending my grandsons classes either but I think I can express my opinion about what they try to teach him! &quot;I worked hard for this day, it matters to me.&quot; The tendency is to want to come back with something witty. But I do not want to make light of the work you have put in. And it should matter to you. ( Although I suspect it would not matter to some if John Kennedy were to come back from the dead and speak ) But I worry that so many graduates oppose a person or a view only because it is the politically correct thing to do. I can only imagine what kind of debate goes on on campus when those on the left only shout down rather than debate those on the right. That is not debate at all and it only serves to produce inbred &quot;scholars&quot;


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:33 a.m.

well you're are the one who said you have paid my tuition over a few times over in taxes. At my $40,000+ a year for my out-of-state'm not a math major.....Oh! but I am an Ancient Civ major....Should I be studying you? :)


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:22 a.m.

A second commenter to denigrate &quot;old&quot; people. You are against those pension taxes, right? Because you care so much for &quot;old&quot; people, right? No, I'm sure you didn't mean it. Because writing &quot;scrooge&quot; alone would've been insufficient, right?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.

I mean, don't you have anything better to do than be an old scrooge to a bunch of college students expressing their freedom of speech? What does it matter to you?! You REALLY think you have a stake in OUR graduation?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

but will you even be attending graduation? Just because you live in this town does not mean you should have any way in OUR graduation. It just happens to take place where you live. You can sit in your home that day and not worry about whose speaking or not. I worked hard for this day, it matters to me.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:08 a.m.

Allison Just so ya know! This &quot;random townie&quot; has paid enough in taxes in this town and State to pay your tuition more than a few times over. And I think my stake might be as much or more than someone that spends 4 years here and moves on.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:36 a.m.

Allison, facts are troubling challenges to these people!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:03 a.m.

*can sign the petition


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:01 a.m.

The petition requires a UofM login to sign it. Only current UofM students are even able to sign the petition, not just some random person on the internet. Therefore, the petition was created so that only people who have an actual stake in this decision (not random townies who have nothing better to do but comment on and whose graduation he will actually be speaking at.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:14 a.m.

The right wing has come pretty close!

theological entrepreneur

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:10 a.m.

Isn't it amazing how students or organizers or whoever can thwart real free speech? I would imagine that if a Hugo Chavez or in his day, a Che Guevara had been invited to campus, there would have been high fives and adulation shouted from the roof tops. Now that we have a governor that has said what he going to do, is doing what he said, and promises to continue doing what he promised a few vocal egotists without a sense of history, context, values, or competing/complementary epistemologies can speak in haste, in political malaise and angst, because their piece of the productive pie is being challenged. All of us have to pay for the profligacy of special interests, self-centered, and selfish groups. Come on, where is the real free speech?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:09 a.m.

&quot;U-M student Rick Durance, who started the petition against Snyder&quot; Durance said students &quot;are more enthusiastic about celebrities and movie directors.&quot; He said politics don't have a place in commencement ceremonies. Mr Durance is the one injecting politics into this! Maybe they would be happy with Charlie Sheen? Maybe Mr Durance should take a history class! Here is a start Mr Durance. Past speakers starting with 1970 1974 - Gerald R. Ford Vice-President, United States 1978 - Walter F. Mondale Vice-President, United States 1980 - The Honorable( lol) Coleman A. Young Mayor, City of Detroit 1982 - William G. Milliken Governor, State of Michigan 1982 - William D. Ford United States Congressman 1985 - James J. Blanchard Governor, State of Michigan 1991 - George H.W. Bush 41st President 1993 - John Engler 46th Governor of Michigan 1994 - Dennis Archer Mayor of Detroit 2003 - Jennifer Granholm 47th Governor of Michigan 2007 - Bill Clinton 47th President, United States


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:34 a.m.

You forgot about Obama. The President who thinks there are 57 States!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:03 a.m.

I would never make light of his contributions while a Tuskeegee Airman. However his accomplishments while major in not worthy of praise. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Young himself expressed his belief that reform of the Police Department stood as one of his greatest accomplishments. Mayor Young's hand-picked Police Chief, close friend and political advisor William L. Hart, served for 15 years as Chief before being indicted and convicted for stealing $2.6 Million from police undercover funds.[12] The Deputy Chief of Police (Kenneth Weiner), also a close associate of Coleman Young, was charged and convicted in a separate case involving investment fraud.[12] The culmination of the many investigations, indictments and convictions of those around Young led many observers to believe he was at the center of widespread corruption in the city government, which included school boards, sanitation, and many other departments, but especially the police department. I could go on and on but you will blame Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush1. Excusing Carter.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:34 a.m.

none of us could have carried the duffle bag of the Tuskeegee Airman, Coleman Young. He was a great man. Just compare him to Guiliani. Coleman didn't dress in drag!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:55 a.m.

BTW Did you really include Coleman Young in the &quot;sane rational and civlized human beings worthy of the honor!&quot; Please don't tell me you would include Kwame Kilpatrick in that group!


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:53 a.m.

It doesn't matter to me if Howdy Doody gives the speech. I was just pointing out the history. Durance said students &quot;are more enthusiastic about celebrities and movie directors.&quot; I think that speaks volumes about his priorities. But I don't believe that most students are that shallow.

David Briegel

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:13 a.m.

With the exception of Bush and Engler, the above are all sane rational and civlized human beings worthy of the honor! Maybe you would be happier with Michelle Bachman or the lovely Ms Palin?

Tom Joad

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

Personally I can't stand listening to the Gov's whiny voice. An enterprising entrepreneur could really clean up selling ear plugs.


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 11:48 p.m.

The hypocrisy of the liberal left is so predictable. They are gloriously &quot;open minded&quot; as long as they are listerning to what they deem is worthy. Anything outside what they want to hear? Boycott or seek to heckle off the stage. Hypocrits. Yet another reason to dislike SUNY-Ann Arbor.


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 7:25 p.m.

I don't even remember the speaker my graduating class had at EMU....... I believe hypocrisy trophy has been passed on to the conservatives.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

It's a shame we can't all be as truly open minded as some people around here... :-)

b master b

Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 1:17 a.m.

I couldnt say it any better! I'm shocked though that didn't remove this for some obscure &quot;reason&quot; because it doesn't fit all their viewpoints


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 11:54 p.m.

Psst! There is no monolithic &quot;liberal left&quot;. It's all different individuals with a lot of very different opinions. Some in favor of this, some against.

Marshall Applewhite

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 11:42 p.m.

I get the feeling this opposition did not originate from UofM students.......... The vast majority of UofM students I know are happy to have such a successful alum in the Governor's office.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

1. The vast majority of U of M students you know may not represent the vast majority in general. 2. @Jeffersonian: Seems like a popular notion to suggest anyone opposing Mr. Snyder's proposals is opposing being responsible. I'm not convinced so many people are upset simply because they somehow prefer reckless spending. Could it be these adults who are disagreeing also realize we need a new plan for our state, but perhaps are desiring one that is more reasonable, or makes actual sense? Personally, I don't believe Michigan should be thought of purely as a failing business. That's only part of it. You have to consider ALL the citizens and how to provide opportunities for ALL of them. (A business doesn't necessarily owe it's employees anything. But government owes it's citizens. That is their job.) A society succeeds according to how ALL citizens of every faction function together. I think the complaints are coming from the fact that Mr. Snyder is essentially saying &quot;We are all in this together!&quot; - then taking from the most in need. As if the business relief entailed will trickle down through everything else. Which it never does. Which is why I believe people are upset. We need to change our habits, yes. But is the answer really to just chop off a healthy amount of what directly impacts lower to middle class citizens? (Most of whom are WORKING class people, mind you.) I feel many people believe Mr. Snyder is the one being reckless. It is a drastic proposal in many eyes. One that could impact population numbers (why stay here when other states care more about their people?), crime (desperation leads to most crime), and education of generations (kids = our state's future) here for years to come. (Etc, etc, etc.) So yes... I think conservatively, but I value being reasonable the most. I don't blame anyone for demanding we get this right. It's pretty important.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

I suppose Snider could've kicked the can down the road for a bigger trainwreck later. Being fiscally reponsible seldom wins accolades from those feeding off the public.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2:18 a.m.

you should really get on facebook and read what the students are saying--many respect Snyder because he is a umich alum, but feel that with his recent cuts to public education, he is not the best choice for a commencement speaker. We're the ones paying tuition, that matters to us a lot more than having a michigan man in public office.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 2 a.m.

see, thats funny, I'm a UofM student and no one paid me to sign a petition, if thats what you're implying. I dont know a single person that is ok with Snyder as a choice, I dont know which UofM students you're talking to...

David Briegel

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 11:45 p.m.

And they are so happy to have more money extorted from their parents! After all, it's not the kids money!


Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 11:42 p.m.

I'm an open minded college student and want to hear what you think, as long as you agree with me. Sounds like some people didn't really learn that much in school after all...


Wed, Mar 16, 2011 : 2:29 a.m.

&quot;Michigan's debt was created by three decades of subsidizing primarily the Big Three welfare-artists via tax breaks and grants, getting nothing in return except more debt.&quot; Dcam: You realize that you and Gov. Snyder actually agree on this? The whole point behind his budget proposal is to eliminate across the board the breaks/grants/credits that have been used to game the system. He has stated that he wants to eliminate picking winners and losers, which is what has been done and what needs to end.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 7:39 p.m.

No one kind of bridge is everywhere and always the best, but their purposes are the same. Scott Walker and Rick Snyder are heading toward the same goa, one via the club and the other via the backdoorl. One difference is Scott Walker deliberately caused a 130 million dollar debt with corporate tax breaks, and then used that debt to begin his tax-shifting and blame focus. Michigan's debt was created by three decades of subsidizing primarily the Big Three welfare-artists via tax breaks and grants, getting nothing in return except more debt.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

rasputin: Policy speeches are completely appropriate for graduation speeches. They will, after all, affect the graduates. A policy speech doesn't have to be a bad speech, but many are... dcam: Maple Bluff is beautiful but not for everyone. Maybe he doesn't like the sound of jet engines roaring at 5am, but who cares? Scott Walker and Rick Snyder are nothing like each other, in spite of what Rachel Maddow would have you believe. Their approaches are completely different as are their proposals.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:57 p.m.

1bit, Scott Walker isn't an UofM alum - he isn't an alum anywhere, but that doesn't mean he doesn't think like Rick Snyder. They follow the same Koch playbook. Hand out huge corporate tax breaks and shift the burden to taxpayers, and they both commute to work each day - they prefer their own homes to the governor's mansion. The Wisconsin mansion is the beautiful Johnson family mansion on Lake Mendota in Maple Bluff, and Madison is a lot better place than Milwaukee to live. So...I don't know why he wouldn't want live there, at least for four years. Scott Walker's two jobs in his 43 years were as salesman for two years and eight years as Milwaukee County commissioner, he shouldn't be as well-heeled as Snyder on a 'public servant's' pay.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 7:38 a.m.

1bit, a commencement speech is not a place for politicians and pundits to discuss policy. So many of my friends (who mostly like Obama and I don't) were disappointed by Obama's speech because it was so political. Why did I need to hear about how &quot;A newspaper of the opposing party once editorialized that if Thomas Jefferson were elected, 'Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced.'&quot; and listen to Obama justify and brag about his stimulus package and political decisions that he has made? I'm graduating college, I don't need to listen to Obama talk about his public image and policy choices. Discuss that in a venue that makes sense. Same with Rick Snyder. There are plenty of better places.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:16 a.m.

Is there a better place to discuss cuts to public education than the University of Michigan? As for Facebook discussions, please allow me to roll my eyes at the collective groupthink. After all, aren't you just discussing things with friends (and friends of friends) who likely already agree with you? Getting ten people or a thousand people to agree with you that the world is flat doesn't make the world flat. That's how the Glenn Beck's and Michelle Bachmann's of the world think, not how I would expect U of M grads to think. If your argument can't accept challenging then it is a weak argument. Maybe that's why Snyder would take his argument to the very place people might disagree with him?


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 3:11 a.m.

From what I gather from the discussions online between students, its not so much that he's a sitting Republican Governor (he had quite a bit of support from Democrats compared to other Republicans in the past, and even more so in Ann Arbor than usual) - its that it seems absurd to invite someone to speak about education who is cutting the funding for education so much at all levels. Also, inviting a politician is never popular, and although many of my friends were excited for Obama to speak, they were a little annoyed at how political his commencement address was. I agree that they should not be asking sitting politicians to give commencement speeches. The choice seems disappointing and insulting to many students, right and left. For some it might be just because he's another Republican, but that's really not what I'm hearing from most students.


Tue, Mar 15, 2011 : 12:14 a.m.

No, they learned that their way is the only way. Maybe we should check and see if Scott Walker is an alumnus.

David Briegel

Mon, Mar 14, 2011 : 11:46 p.m.

They learned how to tell a wolf in sheeps clothing!