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Letter to the editor: Rob Portman speaking at commencement is ‘insulting’

Senator Rob Portman introduces Vice President Mike Pence at Dynalab, Inc. in Reynoldsburg on April 1. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Former Photo Editor

With much respect and gratitude to Ohio State, having been a student here for the past 4 1/2 years, I must speak out against our upcoming commencement speaker on Dec. 17. By allowing Sen. Rob Portman the honor of holding a platform at Ohio State, disrespect is cast upon more than half of the graduating class. Portman has been extremely vocal about his lack of respect for women’s and minority rights. He has worked avidly against the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Affordable Care Act, Planned Parenthood and a number of others to further oppress women and minorities who are already marginalized in the United States.

As Ohio State is a historically accepting and progressive university, women have been included in the university since its inception in 1870. The decision to allow a man with these views to speak is hypocritical, insulting and insincere.

Maureen Flanagan, fifth-year in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


  1. So by refusing to support government expansion and the welfare state, he is somehow oppressing minorities and women? You’d think after 5 years of University you would know what actual oppression is.

  2. He just voted for a tax reform bill that, among other things, did away with the student loan deduction and taxes tuition waivers for graduate students as income. He’s no friend of higher education and has no place at the graduation ceremony. Not only should he not be honored in this way, but he should be publicly shamed by the entire student and faculty community.

  3. What an honor for our great university to bring in Senator Rob Portman as a commencement speaker. Darn good choice.

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