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Worst Commencement Speaker Possible

AlDybsAlDybs Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
edited June 2008 in Northwestern University
It has been confirmed, welcome Mayor Richard Daly.
Post edited by AlDybs on

Replies to: Worst Commencement Speaker Possible

  • mia305mia305 Registered User Posts: 350 Member
    Or as he will soon be known, the new Secretary of Labor in the Obama administration. [To be renamed the Department of Party Patronage.] A little image polishing going on here looks like.
  • sanjenferrersanjenferrer . Posts: 875 Member
    He's a cool guy...supportive of my activist work anyway.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,581 Senior Member
    Only the man who saved Chicago. Let's see what you do in life kid. Maybe they should tax Northwestern.
  • AlDybsAlDybs Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    Mayor Daly has done a lot...but he is not a good public speaker
  • Sam LeeSam Lee Registered User Posts: 9,449 Senior Member
    The minority of vocal and whiny seniors have been an embarrassment to other students and the university. The media took advantage of their comments and painted the wildcats as nothing but spoiled brats.

    Many seniors were disappointed because Daley is not as "big" as they were expecting. But most of them have such expectation NOT because they think "NU deserves better" but because the president said few months ago this mysterious speaker is "very famous internationally". To me, this is an important distinction. The media, however, cherry-picked some of the worst students' comments on Daily and made it sound like the majority of NU seniors were complaining because "they deserve someone better". That may apply to small number of people but not the majority of people who were disappointed. I really think if it weren't the hints by the university that led students to believe it's someone bigger, there wouldn't be such drama. There are also plenty of those who don't care or are happy to have Daley.
  • juliusmonkyjuliusmonky Registered User Posts: 620 Member
    If Bienen had not phrased his comments about the speaker the way he had (ie. "extremely well known" and "does not make a habit of commencement speeches") there certainly wouldn't have been this backlash. Of course there would have been some whining, but not this amount of outrage.

    However, I believe the sentiment expressed in these comments signifies a much deeper issue. It's becoming increasingly clear for me (and I imagine very clear for some, perhaps many, graduating seniors) that the university is more concerned with its endowment and reputation than with its students. Though it is bratty for students to claim they "deserve better," I think it's more that the university attempts to excude such high status and ability, but rarely delivers--at least at the student level.

    For instance, one senior wrote to the Daily lamenting Medill's commencement--each student only receives 3 tickets and they were asking for volunteers to sing. Most responses shot the student down as bratty and entitled. While the ticket limit is understandable given space/size limits, can the university honestly not hire a student group or outside performers to sing?? You'd think four years of tuition would help cover that.

    ANYWAY, not sure if that all makes sense, but it's just my jaded and cynical view on the matter.
  • lilybbloomlilybbloom Registered User Posts: 986 Member
    Mayor Daley IS extremely well-known. He's the mayor of the third-largest city in the U.S. and has worked wonders for Chicago.
  • juliusmonkyjuliusmonky Registered User Posts: 620 Member
    Outside of the Chicago and the midwest? I disagree--I'd gather that the average person from the other side of country may even assume the Daley we're talking about is his father. "Extremely well-known" implies national promience and a name your everyday person from "middle of nowhere USA" could identify. Plus, he makes high school commencement speeches all the time.

    I don't think he's an awful choice at all in the scheme of things--but they were misleading comments.
  • lilybbloomlilybbloom Registered User Posts: 986 Member
    I don't care if there were misleading comments. Do people's very happiness depend on the caliber of a commencement speaker? The idiotic and offensive comments made on the Daily's website were awful and Mayor Daley deserves an apology, which is why I'm part of the effort to get seniors' signature on an apology letter.

    Furthermore, presumably students at Northwestern are not "everyday" people, and have at least some awareness level of what is going on in the Chicago community. If they don't, it's their own fault.
This discussion has been closed.