Toni Airaksinen New York Campus Correspondent @Toni_Airaksinen
24 May, 2017, 13:12
Instead of quietly having convulsions in their chairs, approximately 150 individuals (students and family members) left the commencement ceremony at the University of Notre Dame, the nation's most prominent Catholic University.
"It is especially unfortunate that students walked out of the vice president's speech on Sunday - because if any young people needed to hear how important freedom of speech is to our country, it would be them", Cotton said in a statement Monday, according to NBC News.
The protest centered on policies promoted by Pence, a former governor of IN, and president Donald Trump.
The walkout was planned and although he didn't specifically acknowledge it, the vice-president's speech suggested he knew it was coming.
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South Bend Equality, a group participating in the event, expanded further on the specific issues that they were protesting.
Pence's press secretary, noted that the students who walked out made up a small percentage of the graduates.
A YouTube video linked to the campaign's Facebook shows students explaining their own reasons why they were taking the stand.
Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications, Paul Browne, stated that Notre Dame has always been a home to protests of presidents as well as vice presidents.
As Pence spoke, however, dozens of Notre Dame graduates moved to exercise the very right he was referencing by turning their backs and walking out on the vice president.
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Pence, the former governor of IN which is home to the largely Catholic university IN South Bend, was invited to speak after Notre Dame students and faculty protested the prospect of President Donald Trump being invited to become the seventh USA president to give the school's commencement address.
During his speech, Vice President PencepraisedNotre Dame's Catholic values.
"Notre Dame is exceptional", Pence said. He said other universities have policies that ultimately suppress freedom of speech.
On Sunday local time, as the Vice President approached the podium, students from the Catholic university in northern in rose from their seats and silently filed towards the exits.
"These all-too-common practises are destructive of learning and the pursuit of knowledge, and they are wholly outside the America tradition", he added.
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