I received my Master’s degree at the fall convocation, and I was disappointed, shocked and embarrassed during Erin Larson’s valedictory address.
We may not all agree with the politics of Mr. Toews. Indeed, I am not a Conservative supporter.
However, the convocation is intended to be a celebration of academic achievement and the valedictory address is supposed to be an uplifting, inspiring send-off to fellow graduates. It is not a soapbox from which to spew personal political agendas, something only Ms. Larson did.
She did so as if she was speaking on behalf of all of us, which was certainly not the case.
She inferred that she was standing up for human rights. Inherent in human rights is respect for others. This is something Ms. Larson clearly lacks, as indicated by her inappropriate speech.
Ms. Larson’s venomous words and tone immediately sullied the celebratory mood in Duckworth Centre.
I, like my fellow graduates, worked long and hard for this day. What should have been a joyous occasion full of proud memories ended with me, as well as many other graduates, feeling dismayed and let down by our valedictorian and her misappropriation of her title.
Ms. Larson indignantly pronounced that she regretted having to share the stage with Mr. Toews. If this was the case, she should have turned down the invitation to speak and remained outside with the rest of the protesters.
Theresa A. Livingston
– Theresa A. Livingston
Published in Volume 65, Number 8 of The Uniter (October 21, 2010)