Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
by ama and
In his address to the Class of 2010
Saturday, Obama challenged gradu-
ates to move beyond the partisanship
that has crippled Washington and
encouraged them to be active par-
ticipants in furthering democracy in
Though many graduates said
Obama's message to them and the rest
of country will help make their gradu-
ation from the University extra special,
some said they wished the president
would have spoken more directly to
them, instead of to the nation.
As he said goodbye to his friends
and made plans to meet up after the
ceremony, Business School gradu-
ate Bryan Flory said he didn't find
Obama's speech to be relevant to his
experience at the University.
"It just realistically had nothing
to do with us," he said. "It just had
nothing to do with graduation."
Though he thought it was an honor
to have the president speak at gradu-
ation, Engineering master's student,
Vikram Thakar said he thought the
speech was "too political."
"I've definitely heard him give bet-
ter speeches before," Thakar said.
Rackham graduate Aaron Rury
said he found the speech to be
"pretty standard boiler plate press-
ing (Obama's) political narrative,"
though he added that he found the
part of the ceremony when Obama
conferred the oath of office on the
University's ROTC graduates to be
"You have all these ROTC gradu-
ates all over the country and those (at
the University) are probably the only
kids who get to have the president do
that for them so I thought that was
pretty meaningful," he said. "His
speech in general was, you know very
similar to the speech he gave last year
at Notre Dame, when he talked about
trying to have politics of inclusion
rather than exclusion. So I thought it
was predictable almost."
Lucas Strasser who was conferred
by Obama said he found the experi-
ence "very nice."
"There are very few people in
the military that have actually ever
been read the oath of office by the
commander in chief, so it was really
exciting for me to have that honor,"
Strasser's mother Joy said watch-
ing her son be conferred by the presi-
dent was an extremely proud moment
"It was the thrill of my life because
I helped campaign for President
Obama and just to be here and have
the honor of having my son join the
service and be an officer and then
to have the oath of office is beyond
words," she said.
Art & Design graduate Alex Friend
said that though he didn't think
Obama's speech was directed at him,
he enjoyed it, adding that he appreci-
ated Obama's humor throughout the
"I thought Obama's speech was
really interesting," he said. "Seemed
(like) he was concentrating more on
the national issues than on the fact
that we were graduating. But that's
alright, I guess you can expect that
from the president, he's got bigger
matters on his mind."
LSA graduate Kate Heller said that
while she enjoyed Obama's speech,
she was "a little frustrated" by the
remarks of Democratic Gov. Jenni-
fer Granholm, who spoke before the
Other students also said they were
disappointed with Granholm's mes-
Engineering graduate Neil
Dhingra said he found Granholm's
speech to be "kind of worthless."
"It was more political than it
could've been," he said.
Flory said he agreed.
"What Jennifer Granholm said
really had nothing to do with us," he
While some students found Gran-
holm's message to be less than appro-
priate, many graduates who had the
experience of celebrating Obama's
win on election night said having the
president at their graduation only
enhanced an already happy day.
U.S. President Barack Obama's commencement address received mixed responses from University student body members from various
schools and disciplines. More than 80,000 people showed up to the spring commencement ceremony at Michigan stadium this past Sat-
"It was the perfect ending to col-
lege to have him come," LSA gradu-
ate Adva Gadoth said.
School of Nursing master's gradu-
ate Danyiele Glenn said hearing
Obama speak at her graduation was
"He's always such an eloquent
speaker," she said. "Just right on time
with his message, and it was just his-
Business graduate Jacquitta Wat-
son said she thought it was "really
refreshing to have a really empower-
ing speaker" like Obama, adding that
she enjoyed the message of the stu-
dent speaker Alex Marston.
"(Marston's) message about
change and how we need to embrace
it really resonates with me," she said.
"Especially seeing how our football
team is and seeing how our economy
is, everything is going on right now
changing and really hard to adjust to
it and really talking about that really
resonated with me."
Though most of the excitement of
the day surrounded Obama, School
of Music, Theatre & Dance graduate
Mary Martin had other things on
her mind leading up to the ceremo-
ny. Martin, who sang the National
Anthem to open the ceremony, said
standing in front of the crowd at
the Big House was the "scariest and
most humbling" experience of her
"It was just incredible and I've
never had anything like it," she said.
"Now every crowd next to that is
going to seem super small."
LSA graduate Meghan Gallagher
said sitting on the field and watch-
ing Obama flanked by Granholm and
University President Mary Sue Cole-
man was a wonderful way to end her
From page 3
the University could be compro-
mised if it is seen that advertise-
ments on the Google e-mail server
are allowed in exchange for cutting
Rachel Goldman, SACUA member
and engineering professor, said she
was concerned about the closure of
the North Campus Recreation Build-
ing on the weekends during the sum-
mer. She said the limited working
hours could reduce the number of
participants in the MHealthy cam-
paign - a University program com-
mitted to health and well-being.
"Shutting it down for the weekend is
"It was great because here we have
this wonderful African American
president and then the president of
our university and the governor of
our state are both females, so it's just
a really great picture for me, of what
our future can bring," she said.
- Daily News Editors Nicole Aber,
Stephanie Steinberg and Eshwar
Thirunavukkarasu contributed to
Goldman also brought up the issue
of the inaccessibility of whiteboards
and chalkboards to professors or fac-
ulty who are unable to reach them
because "they aren't six feet tall."
Gina Poe, recently elected vice
chair of the committee and assis-
tant professor of anesthesiology and
molecular and integrative physiol-
ogy, added that members of the Uni-
versity community are discouraged
from attending meetings or going to
class if they cannot fit into standard-
size chairs in the building.
Members at the meeting also voted
to establish proxy voting, either
through another person or through
e-mails, for members who are unable
to attend. The subject was brought
up by a member who was unable to
attend the remainder of the meeting.