Petition wants speaker who can 'relate,' not governor, at graduation

Petition wants speaker who can 'relate,' not governor, at graduation
Gov. Henry McMaster.

An online petition says that graduating seniors at South Carolina State University are asking for a new spring commencement speaker after it was announced that Governor Henry McMaster was given the honors.

A petition on the website Care 2 is requesting that a new speaker is selected who can "relate to the HBCU experience." In a statement on Wednesday, the university said the governor would give the commencement speech at the historically black college's May 12 ceremony.

"SCSU graduating seniors, as well as family and friends, feel as though they are being short changed with the speaker that was chosen for them for their graduating ceremony," the petition says. "On behalf of the graduating class, they feel as though this selection was not thought out thoroughly and Seniors are requesting a NEW speaker. Someone whom they can connect with."

The petition is requesting 1,000 signatures and has 160 as of Thursday night.

"This petition's intentions are not to be viewed as anything negative directed towards our Governor, but simply requesting that we have a speaker that shares more common ground with its students."

McMaster's commencement speech would mark the first time in 14 years that the Palmetto state's governor will give a commencement speech at SCSU. Former Gov. Mark Sanford delivered the address in 2003.

We've reached out to the governor's office for a statement and we have not received a response.

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