Associated Press, May 13, 2017
A commencement address by the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn, was canceled Friday after opposition from students at the historically black university where he was scheduled to speak.
Students at Texas Southern University in Houston had circulated a petition demanding the Texas senator be withdrawn as a commencement speaker, citing various stances he has taken. These included his confirmation votes in favor of DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his opposition to funding for so-called sanctuary cities that protect immigrants and his support for photo IDs for voting. The petition also cited Cornyn’s low rating by the NAACP.
“Having a politician such as him speak at our institution is an insult to the students, to TSU, and to all (historically black colleges and universities),” said the petition on the change.org site. “This is our graduation. We have the right to decide if we want to refuse to sit and listen to the words of a politician who chooses to use his political power in ways that continually harm marginalized and oppressed people.”