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May 06, 1988 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 1988-05-06

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Ninety-eight years of editorial freedom
W e y Vol. XCVIII, Ann Arbor, Michigan - Friday, May 6, 1988 r Daily
6,000 'U' graduates celebrate

Alternative
graduation
ceremony
praises
activists
BY VERONICA WOOLRIDGE
About 25 graduating student ac-
tivists pledged to "let their light
shine" and to continue to work for
social change during an alternative
commencement ceremony last
Saturday afternoon in Rackham
Amphitheater.
"Our goal is not to go out and get
good jobs," but rather to continue
the struggle for social change, said
activist Pam Nadasen, an LSA ju-
nior.
The ceremony, scheduled before
the official commencement so stu-
dents could attend both events, was
organized by the United Coalition
Against Racism, and featured several
student activist groups, including the
Socially Active Latino Students'
Association, the Free South Africa
Co-ordinating Committee, and
Greeks for Peace.
Barbara Ransby, a member of the
UCAR steering committee, led the
ceremony. She said the event was
organized in order to commend stu-
dents who challenged the status quo
and to recognize those who "helped
to make U of M a btter place."
"The larger graduating ceremony
is chaotic and often the speaker does
not reflect the work of progressive
activists," Ransby said.
Graduates at the ceremony made
statements to the group during an
See Alternative, Page 4

These LSA graduates didn't wait for the speakers to finish to begin their commencement celebration at
Michigan Stadium last Saturday.
Graduates make chaotic exit

BY ALYSSA LUSTIGMAN
About 6,000 screaming, cheering,
and crying graduates left the Univer-
sity last Saturday in a disorderly
two-hour ceremony at Michigan
Stadium that drew criticism from
both students and administrators.
Students threw beach balls and
confetti, popped champagne bottles,
made waves, sang "The Victors," and
blew fog horns throughout keynote
speaker Marshall Shulman's address.
Many students said Shulman's
45-minute speech on Soviet policy
did not fit the celebratory atmo-
sphere. Mark Ziadeh, an LSA gradu-
ate, said Shulman's speech was too
dry and caused the students' restless-
ness.
"WHILE Marshall Shulman is
certainly considered an accomplished
man, his speech really wasn't rele-
vant to a graduation ceremony," Zi-
adeh said.
But some administrators said the
students simply did not pay attention

to the speaker. There was even spec- S H U L MAN'S speech focused
ulation the graduation ceremony may on the Soviet Union's current
be changed next year. political, economic, and military
situation, and summarized the
progress of Soviet premier Mikhail
' While Marshall Shulman Gorbachev's policies.
is certainly considered an LSA junior Sarah Riordan, chair
of the Michigan Student Assembly's
accomplished man, his Student Rights Committee, who
speech really wasn't was present at the ceremony, agreed
relevant to a graduation with Ziadeh.
ceremony, "Although the speaker was ex-
tremely articulate and the content
- Mark Ziadeh, a was definitely pertinent to a lot of
graduating LSA senior things going on on campus," she
said, "it was not appropriate for a
graduation ceremony on a Saturday
Shulman, a University alumnus afternoon, for 25,000 people, in 75
and Columbia University professor degree weather. The seniors graduat-
of Soviet Studies, cut short his ing were also psyched, and just went
speech after the crowd booed and ig- .
nored him during much of his talk. Regent Veronica Smith (R-
"The last time I faced a situation Grosse le) said the crowd was rowdy
like this was in the Soviet Unionbecause of a "combination of cir-
Shulman said before leaving the cumstances - the speaker was long,
stage. and the students were restless," she

said.
OTHER University officials
who attended commencement were
dismayed by the majority of the
crowd's behavior. "I am very disap-
See Graduation, Page 4

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