In the past five years, there has been a surge in the number of graduation speakers who have been protested, withdrawn their names, or had their invitations revoked. It can make sense to disagree with the politics of a speaker. But does it make sense to shut that speaker up? The Internet was supposed to herald in an era of unfettered discourse and free speech. But it seems like this is becoming the era of silencing those with opposing opinions.

+ Smith College President Kathleen McCartney: “I want to underscore this fact: An invitation to speak at a commencement is not an endorsement of all views or policies of an individual or the institution she or he leads…I remain committed to leading a college where differing views can be heard and debated with respect.” That was in response to her school’s commencement speaker dropping out.