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OCCC students are protesting Mary Fallin…

8:30 AM EDT on May 8, 2014

mary fallin sesame street

Last night, I was the judge for a talent show at Oklahoma City Community College.

No, that's not the headline to the world's coolest and/or loneliest Match.com profile. It's actually a very surreal thing that happened to me last night from 7pm - 9pm.

Outside of the drunk emcee, the event was fun. They had about 20 performers, and none of them involved soccer moms or commuting. My favorites were a one-man band, a Christian a cappella act, and a girl who learned yoyo tricks by watching a YouTube clip. So who won the competition? The girl with yoyo tricks. Can you get any more community college than that?

The answer is "yes." Look who's giving the commencement speech at the school's May 16th graduation.

May 16 will mark a milestone for many Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC) students as they receive their degrees and certificates during the 41st commencement ceremonies.

More than 1,500 degrees and certificates will be awarded to graduates, and Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin will serve as this year's keynote speaker. Commencement ceremonies will be held at the Cox Convention Center beginning at 7:30 p.m.

"It is always an honor to have the Governor of our state address the graduates," said Dr. Paul Sechrist, OCCC President. "Having the Governor at commencement adds to the significance of this milestone event for our students."

So.... they have graduations at OCCC? I spent three years at the place and graduated and even I didn't know that. Maybe I accidentally got a GED instead.

In response to Governor Fallin's speech, some OCCC students have announced they will protest. Check out this email from an Ogle Mole: 

Dear Lost Ogle,

OCCC students are planning to protest Gov. Fallin speaking at OCCC’s graduation on May 16th by turning their backs and not applauding her speech.

Since 2008, Oklahoma Higher Ed funding has dropped by 106 million, which is about 10%.  On Feb. 3rd, Denise Northrup (speaking for Fallin) told State Regents that Fallin’s budget proposal for 2014 included a 5% cut to Higher Ed.

As a consolation to the cuts, Fallin said colleges can use “substantial revolving fund balences”(AKA rainy day funds) to “cushion the blow.”

Teacher pay in Oklahoma is ranked 49th in the country.

These are some of the reasons why students don’t want the governor to speak at their graduation ceremony.   It is insulting to have a leader speak at such an occasion when she has been so hostile towards education.

I don't mind the protest, but I think they can do better. The whole "turn your back" thing is cliché. OCCC students need to be creative, original and support their Alumni Hall of Famers instead. For example, what if the students all chanted "T-L-O! T-L-O!" or "The Lost Ogle!" when Mary's introduced.  I'm sure that would get Mary's attention more than a lack of applause and seeing the back of someones head.

Anyway, here are the two "protest memes" the guy mentioned. They're not as cool as watching a girl do tricks with a yoyo, but they'll do until the protestors get the ones about the TLO chants made.

fallin protest 2
fallin protest

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