Two University of Notre Dame students who joined the walkout during Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement speech Sunday said they left because Pence made people feel “unsafe.”
Luis Miranda and Aniela Tyksinski defended the walkout on CNN Monday, arguing that a commencement address is not the proper place to have differing political views.
“The walkout was in response to the fact that members of our own community felt unwelcome, uncomfortable, and even unsafe,” Tyksinski claimed. “This was not the appropriate event for this kind of political discourse..this should have been an event for all graduates and all of their family members.”
Host Brooke Baldwin challenged the students, asking if it is fair to say that college campuses are too liberal and don’t allow conservative viewpoints.
Miranda said he could not say if colleges are too liberal, but claimed to support free speech despite being unwilling to listen to Pence’s address.
“I cannot speak to the stereotype but…yes, there are difficulties over free speech,” he said. “It’s hard to have these conversations and we agree that free speech is a very important thing and that we shouldn’t be shutting it out.”
Baldwin jumped in, arguing with the recent graduates, “but you can understand how people are saying, well, how can you be welcoming if you’re not respecting — despite the fact that you totally disagree with his views — not welcoming the Vice President of the United States?”