Laura Bush: RWU 2006

Laura Bush is going to be the Keynote Speaker during my graduation ceremony on May 20, 2006.* I have been thinking on this information for a few days now, and I object! I realize that Bush herself was not elected, and that she is not the creator of the policies of the President. She is however, where ever she goes, a defendant of these policies. She has to be. By having Bush here this school declares its tacit consent to the President's policies. That most certainly does not reflect my sentiments nor can it reflect the sentiments of all those connected with this school.

The question arises, "Why is Laura Bush coming to our school?" It is mostly likely the result of the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women which was founded by Paula Nirschel, the wife of RWU President Roy Nirschel. This May, the first Afghan women who were sponsored by the Initiative will be graduating, and Laura Bush has spoken in support of the Initiative a couple of times.** The Initiative has been very successful for the the three Afghan women who will be graduating, but having Laura Bush speak at our graduation is foolishly taking advantage of their presence.

I am saying that this is foolish because Roger Williams has already been misrepresented too often in the past. Let us say that a person wants to find out about RWU, so they "google" "Roger Williams University." Results 9 and 10 (on the first page of results) are the RWU College Republicans, and the Wikipedia article on RWU which features the "White Scholarship Controversy." Basically, besides education, it is this controversy that RWU is know for, even though it is not at all a representation of the sentiments of the students or staff. I do not want Laura Bush, someone so closely tied to President Bush's policy, to bring more media attention to our school in this way. It does not look good for me as a future graduate who disagrees with many of the President's decisions, and it will not make me proud to invite my friends and family to watch me graduate.

Roger Williams University seems to be playing the "name game." Bringing Laura Bush to a graduation is indeed impressive but it misses the point. The Keynote Speaker at a graduation is supposed to be a person who inspires all the graduates to do something in the world. Laura Bush simply cannot do that for everyone.

*I have been told by a number of different people now that Laura Bush is going to be the main speaker at my graduation ceremony on May 20, 2006. I went to ask about it at RWU President Roy Nirschel's office and the secretary was clearly surprised and set off balance by my question. Then she wouldn't answer. Currently, I do not have official confirmation that Mrs. Bush will be coming but I have COMPLETE non-official confirmation. I have been told that she is coming by a teacher and a number of trustworthy classmates. One of the classmates has actually been to meet Mrs. Bush with Mrs. Nirschel as she is one of the participants in the IEAW.
** Here are the two documented speeches where Laura Bush has spoken about the IEAW:

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