Change Can Happen
Over 500 have now “liked” the WPI student run facebook page ExxonMobil Doesn’t Speak for Me. Strong messages of support are being posted by the people who have never met these students but heard their story. Paul Garner wrote “Congratulations on displaying the moral courage of your convictions, the courage to see things through!” Jen Hartley said “YEAH! You are an inspiration! This is an incredible statement to make, that you have brains in your head and a VOICE…You are true scholars and activists and you should be damn proud.”Perhaps the most stirring form of support came from Kathryn Blume who posted this video on the group’s page:
All this support was inspiring, truly incredible. Even more incredible, however, was this post on their facebook page:
“Good News! We are thrilled to announce that our negotiations with the administration have come to a satisfying resolution.
Student who wish to avoid ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s speech will be allowed to do so. A row will be reserved them the back so that we may join the rest of the class afterwards for the degree-granting ceremony.
In addition, our alternate speaker Richard Heinberg has been offered the same stage as Tillerson. I can confirm Richard will be speaking after commencement, at 3 PM on May 14th, on the Quad.
We are delighted at this outcome, which satisfies both our, and the needs of the administration.”
In other words, they did it. These students made their voices heard and accomplished their goal. It seems that through hard work and support, change really can happen. Personally, I have never been more optimistic about our future than I am right now.
I am so proud of WPI for listening to these students and for allowing them to uphold their integrity and walk at graduation. For a while there, I thought my beloved school was going to let me down.
And to all you brave seniors; I could not be happier for you. All your work paid off – what an inspiring way to end your time here at WPI. Congratulations.