New Jersey college graduates skip commencement to protest budget referendums

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May 20, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

WEST LONG BRANCH, New Jersey: Graduates and alumni of Monmouth University are planning to protest the May 20th commencement held in West Long Branch over the University selecting Governor Chris Christie as their speaker. This is one of a few planned protests in response to the April school budget elections. The first-year Governor was instrumental in urging voters to oppose their district's budget if there was no wage and benefit freeze on teachers[1].

Two groups on Facebook were created by Monmouth students and alumni to voice their displeasure over the University selecting Christie as their speaker. One of the group's descriptions on their page said: "this man (Christie) has proven that he could not care less about education, has zero respect for teachers, and yet Monmouth University has still asked him to speak at this year's graduation."[2]. Some people in the group had suggestions to show their displeasure to the Governor during the ceremony including wearing headphones and turning their backs when the Governor speaks[1].

A similar protest was held by students of Rutgers University in Pisactaway, New Jersey on May 16th when Christie was invited to speak at their graduation[1]. Another graduation protest over Governor Christie was considered by Seton Hall Law School alumni and faculty in South Orange, NJ. The objection over letting the Governor to speak at their May 28th commencement is his decision to not re-appoint New Jersey Supreme Court Justice John Wallace[3].

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