Students protest planned McConnell graduation speech at Murray State


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

MURRAY, Ky. - Nearly two dozen Murray State University students, many of whom, who will receive diplomas in three days aren't too keen on seeing or hearing Senator Mitch McConell on their graduation day.

"It kind of rubs us the wrong way that somebody that won't stand up for students and who will stand up for himself won't give us any kind of support," Devin Griggs said

Griggs is part of the Ditch Mitch group that formed after the university announced the senate majority leader was invited to talk to this year's graduating class.  He says the group isn't political, but is based on the senator's education policies.

"We find it inappropriate that he would come and speak at a higher education institution like Murray State and a public university at that," Griggs said.

But some students say the organization, which is not affliated with the actual Ditch Mitch political group, shows poorly on the university.

"I think its a shame we treat him with that kind of respect or lack thereof," David Madewell said.

Madewell is the president of Murray State's College Republicans.  He says he wouldn't have formed any oppoisition group if the roles were reversed and calls the Ditch Mitch group disrespectful.

"What we have here is something that's building Murray and its building Calloway County," Madewell said.

Griggs says while the campus protest group may be small in number, their online support is growing.  He says more than 800 people have signed this petition on,a clear indication he says the senator should skip this year's pomp and circumstance.

"Graduation should be about the graduates and we really think McConnell takes that away from us."

Senator McConnell is not getting paid for the speaking engagement.

Local 6 reached out to the senate minority leader Wednesday about this protest.  He did not comment on them specifically, but says he looks forward to addressing this years graduating class on Saturday.