Approximately 100 Notre Dame graduates walked out of Vice President Mike Pence’s speech, apparently uninterested in his advice to always wear sunscreen or whatever words of wisdom he was imparting on the fighting Irish’s graduating class.
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TV station WNDU caught the students as they exited Notre Dame stadium. The protest was organized by campus group WeStaNDFor to show their disappointment in the school’s speaker selection, citing Pence’s actions against gay rights. Students were instructed on WeStaNDFor’s Facebook page to walk out “quietly but deliberately.”
“[Pence’s] policies have impacted the humanity of certain graduates,” former Notre Dame student body president Bryan Ricketts told the Indy Star, adding that students were “upset and hurt” that the school chose to honor Pence.
Hundreds of protesters also gathered outside the ceremony to protest Pence’s return to his home state where he served as governor for four years after more than a decade representing Indiana in Congress. Organizer April Lidinsky of Planned Parenthood and the International Justice Resource Center said, “We are unwelcoming Mike Pence back to Indiana with the idea that nobody knows Pence’s record as well as Hoosiers do.”