Notre Dame Students Blast Vice President Mike Pence as Commencement Speaker

University of Notre Dame officials are getting heat from students upset by the Catholic school's choice of Vice President Mike Pence to make this year's commencement speech.

The College Fix reports that many students are calling Pence "anti-women's rights, an enemy to undocumented students, and an anti-Catholic choice."

The school-news website says a video now circulating at Notre Dame community features a student charging Pence with a "basic disregard for the fundamental rights of so many communities."

Pence was invited to speak after the school passed on President Donald Trump. Last December, the university's College Democrats group obtained 3,700 signatures from students, faculty, staff and alumni from the South Bend, Indiana, school to protest an appearance by the new commander in chief.

But Pence has also proved controversial.

On its Facebook page, the College Democrats of Notre Dame say Pence, the former governor of Indiana, "refused to allow Syrian refugees, fleeing from violence and terrorism, to find refuge in our state; when he limited a woman's right to control her own body by slashing access to women's healthcare; or when he limited needle exchange programs that could have prevented the worst HIV outbreak Indiana has ever seen …

"We are saddened that Fr. Jenkins would invite Vice President Pence to serve as an ambassador of that Administration, as he receives an honorary degree on a stage shared by members of the very communities he marginalizes."

But Notre Dame President John Jenkins said in a statement that Pence's appearance will be "fitting that in the 175th year of our founding on Indiana soil that Notre Dame recognize a native son who served our state and now the nation with quiet earnestness, moral conviction and a dedication to the common good characteristic of true statesmen.

"With his own brand of reserved dignity, Mike Pence instilled confidence on the state level then, and on the world stage now. We are proud to welcome him to represent the new administration."

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