Debate at Haverford Over Speech by Ex-Chancellor of Berkeley

May 9, 2014

Some students at Haverford College are objecting to the selection of Robert J. Birgeneau, former chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, as commencement speaker, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The students object to the role of campus police in dealing with some student protests during Birgeneau's tenure. They have demanded that, as a condition of supporting his appearance at Haverford, Birgeneau apologize for police conduct at Berkeley, and offer reparations to "victims," among other items on a list of demands.

Birgeneau has refused. In a letter, he said: "First, I have never and will never respond to lists of demands. Second, as a longtime civil rights activist and firm supporter of nonviolence, I do not respond to untruthful, violent verbal attacks."

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