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The New Guard

Leftist Speakers & Segregated Graduations Persist in This Year’s Commencement Season

By

Nick Baker

May 9, 2024

46 leftists, 84 segregated ceremonies, and only FOUR conservative speakers indicate a troubling trend.

The latest findings from Young America’s Foundation’s Commencement Speaker Survey and Commencement Ceremony Segregation Report reveal a disappointing, but unsurprising trend. Colleges and universities are using these ceremonies as a final opportunity to instill leftist doctrine in their students–an effort that has clearly seen some dangerous success, given what has been occurring on campuses across the nation in recent months.

YAF’s 32nd Annual Commencement Speaker Survey finds that of the top 100 colleges and universities in America, only four conservative speakers were invited to address their graduating classes.

46 leftists, including Jen Psaki, the Biden Administration’s former press secretary, Melinda Gates, whose foundation has contributed many millions of dollars to leftist causes including Planned Parenthood and organizations that advance the Left’s environmental alarmism agenda, and Al Gore, will take the stage.

Chris Pan, a leftist who spoke at The Ohio State University’s commencement last week, delivered what was perhaps the most bizarre commencement speech of those evaluated by YAF in recent memory.

During the speech, which he later revealed was written while high on hallucinogens, the “social entrepreneur” encouraged students to purchase cryptocurrency before leading them in sing-alongs and attempting to sell them jewelry.

Columbia University, where the university’s spineless president was scheduled to speak, recently called off its entire ceremony due to the pro-Hamas encampments that she has allowed to remain indefinitely.

It’s also worth noting that of the four conservatives identified, only one–Ryan Zimmerman, a former player with the Washington Nationals–is outspoken about his values. The others on the list–a business executive, a professor, and a photographer–were only deemed conservative based on their federal campaign contribution records or “liked” posts on social media.

YAF’s Commencement Ceremony Segregation Report, now in its second year of publication, found that a staggering 84 of the top 100 universities will host additional segregated ceremonies for graduates based on LGBTQ+ status and racial identity.

79 institutions are holding “lavender graduations,” which, as explained by the Human Rights Campaign, are designed “to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary, intersex, queer, asexual/aromantic, and ally students.”

43 schools are hosting ceremonies specifically targeted towards black students, 35 will host ceremonies for Hispanic students, 23 for Asians, 16 for Native Americans, 5 for Middle Easterners, and 2 for females.

Colleges and universities must foster an environment where all students can come together to celebrate their accomplishments as one united community, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexuality, or any other characteristic. And, of course, commencement addresses should not exclusively cater to one side of the aisle or another.

Without the efforts of conservative students who partner with Young America’s Foundation to bring prominent conservatives to their college campuses, the vast majority of students would likely go their entire four years in college without having the opportunity to be inspired by conservative ideas.

“Watching leftist radicals hold universities hostage has provided a powerful reminder that what we do at YAF couldn’t be more important. Along with our brave students, we’re working to ensure conservative voices are heard loud and clear on campuses across the country,” said Governor Scott Walker, president of Young America’s Foundation.

These findings serve as a wake-up call to universities across the nation, urging them to reevaluate their commitment to ideological diversity and the “inclusivity” they so frequently claim to promote. Without a balanced representation of perspectives, these institutions are creating an environment that stifles intellectual growth and fails to adequately prepare students for the challenges of the real world.

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