Friday, April 20, 2012

Liberty Students React to Graduation Speaker

WSET ABC13 | Carleigh Griffeth | April 20, 2012
There's been a lot of excitement over Liberty University's announcement that Mitt Romney will speak at this year's graduation. But there's also been some bitter disappointment.

It's even led to a bit of a social media war between Romney supporters and those who do not want him as their commencement speaker.

Students on both sides are really passionate about this. There is a drastic change from one opinion to the other. It's clear these students were moved by hearing this news, but now they couldn't be moving in more opposite directions.

"This is crazy, no, we're not going to stand for this. He doesn't stand for the Constitution. He doesn't stand for the Bible. He doesn't stand for anything that we as Christians, or we as conservatives stand for," said Braedon Wilkerson, a student at Liberty.

"This was a very big win for Liberty University I think. This is a man that matches up with us on core issues, like believing in God, believing in the right to life, the right to freedom," said Garrett Humbertson, another Liberty student.

Those are two strong opinions about Romney that couldn't be more different. There are many more comments on Facebook. A firestorm of comments flooded Liberty University's page seconds after the announcement was posted.

Some students have followed Romney's political career for years and can't wait to hear him speak.

"It's going to be exciting because as a graduate, I'm going to get to see Mitt Romney," said Humbertson.

Others think the university has made a choice that doesn't reflect its students or the university's beliefs in the political arena and the sanctuary.

"I mean they're sacrificing the Bible for the Republican party. We are the largest Christian university and he lost on our campus. He doesn't represent us," said Wilkerson.

Last month, Ron Paul won Liberty's campus in the Virginia primary. But even though the divide among students on this issue is rapidly increasing, some are preaching the message of tolerance.

"Liberty does have core beliefs and we're not going to budge on those. But at the same time we're not going to shut out other views. We want to hear people of all faiths and all religions," said Humbertson.

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