Sunday, May 14, 2006

stand up for what you believe

At the Arts and Sciences commencement, President Donna Shalala said in her closing comments: "Make your mark boldly. ... Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe and to support others who do likewise." Maybe the STAND students under investigation and their lawyers should make the case that they were just following President Shalala's instructions, ante literam.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told the students that "To run from risk is to run from life." One of life's greatest challenges is "the use we make of the time we have." "Many have the intention of acting on bold plans," but wait until they graduate, pay off the mortgage, and keep waiting until it's too late. She encouraged students not to wait, to dedicate themselves to freedom and human rights, and to use their gifts "to help, heal and teach." Isn't Albright's advice exactly what the students under threat of disciplinary action have done?

Tanya Aquino and Amancio Paradela (the latter is subject to disciplinary action; the former has not received a summons but was one of STAND leaders and a student hunger striker) walked. Amancio, bless him, hugged Donna Shalala.

(You can hear all the commencement speeches and see, among other things, Amancio hug President Shalala in the webcasts provided here).

Amancio, holding hunger striking janitor Elsa Rodriguez, on the day after UNICCO and the SEIU settled, handing the janitors a resounding victory.

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