ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) – An online petition to select a new commencement speaker for South Carolina State University is circulating after Gov. Henry McMaster was announced Wednesday to give this year’s spring address at the historically black public college.
The Post and Courier reports the petition says graduating seniors and their families are short-changed by the decision to invite a speaker who can’t relate to the experience of attending a historically black college. The petition has amassed over 180 signatures as of Thursday night.
The petition states that the request for a new speaker isn’t predicated on race or a political stand, but petitioners have criticized McMaster for conservative politics and his membership at an all-white country club.
The university says President James Clark is considering addressing concerns.