Source: Toronto Star
More idiot leftists who are actually part of the “1%” . It’s not like his Honour Arts degree will get him anywhere in life anyways. This is supposed to be a day of celebration and not some stupid protest. Not many people can afford your degree, and you have the audacity of throwing it away?
In a sea of smiling, young faces and black graduation robes at Thursday’s University of Toronto Convocation Hall ceremonies, one person stood out: the serious young man with the red, floppy brimmed hat, long brown hair and red square pinned to his gown.
He stood out even more when he advanced toward the podium and had words with a marshal who wanted to know why he was carrying a sign that said “no’’ and suggested he not go further with it.
But after a few awkward seconds, while the announcer waited for the small drama to be played out, the young man’s name was announced and Michael Vipperman went up to the podium, where various U of T officials and other dignitaries were seated. He turned and faced the audience, held up his “no’’ sign and said, “I hereby renounce this degree.’’
The 26-year-old also handed out pamphlets to a few people on the podium explaining why he was rejecting his honours bachelor of arts degree and left the stage.
Vipperman, who grew up in Toronto, said he stands in solidarity with “the courageous students of Quebec’’ and their fight for accessible education, the right to protest and against corruption in government.
He said university education is becoming elitist and exclusionary with “only certain people able to afford it.’’
“Education is being treated like a product, a commodity. Education should be an ongoing process rather than a product which can be sold or received.’’
Vipperman’s protest was a momentary blip at the convocation of more than 400 St. Michael’s College students, one of several such ceremonies this week.
Some students looked surprised at Vipperman’s pronouncement, as did several officials on the podium like U of T chancellor David Peterson. Others didn’t seem to notice. It was all over quickly and Vipperman returned to his seat along with his fellow students.
Afterwards, he told the Star he was happy he did it and had mostly positive feedback from other students, several of whom asked to have a post-ceremony photo taken with him.
He said he also believes it’s wrong for the University of Toronto to have a close relationship with certain “venomous institutions’’ and corporations and that its funding priorities “have emphasized generating wealth for industry over providing a quality education.’’
Vipperman admitted his parents tried to talk him out of his protest because they thought it might be seen as disrespectful and have ramifications. But Vipperman said he has fond feelings for his time at the U of T, and his fellow students and respects many of the faculty.
When asked for comment after the convocation, Vipperman’s mom, Deborah, smiled and said, “I love my kid.’’
The university did not respond to a request for comment.