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Speaking of distinction

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Kenneth Todd Ruiz, Editor in Chief

Kenneth Todd Ruiz, Editor in Chief

With the passing of another academic year, another commencement of the University of La Verne’s senior class is upon us.

For the final opportunity to provide inspiring words to this next generation of workforce entrants, the school has managed to put together an impressive list of four speakers for each of the different graduation ceremonies.

For undergraduates, Patt Morrison, a writer for the Los Angeles Times will share her wisdom in Ortmayer Stadium.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen G. Larson will, appropriately enough, address College of Law graduates while Superintendent of Encinitas Union School District Douglas P. DeVore will speak to those graduating from the School of Education.

On Saturday, May 29, the University’s graduate ceremony will feature a most distinguished orator, our very own congressman, Rep. David Dreier.

I think it’s terrific that Dreier is taking the time to contribute to this esteemed University in the heart of his district. Despite the fact that in my two years here, he has never found the time to return a single phone call from our student press.

However, I learned many interesting things about Rep. Dreier from our very own University Web site.

According to the news release announcing his visit, he has “led efforts to reform Congress and make government more cost-effective, less intrusive and more accountable to the people.”

I also learned that he “supports educational reforms designed to provide schools flexibility to reduce class size and expand classroom technology.”

Cool. But wait, there’s more. Dreier is, according to University Relations, “a recognized legislative leader in trade and technology issues. He believes in increasing economic opportunities for all Americans.”

That’s an impressive amount of boosterism in a “news” release from our very own University Relations office. And certainly kinder than other opinions frequently expressed about him.

While we’re dishing out subjective opinion, the press release might just as easily have described Dreier as “a rabid war-hawk who staunchly opposes the First Amendment and has labored to expand the role of government in people’s personal lives through limiting reproductive freedom and curtailing human rights and civil liberties.”

Prior to the invasion of Iraq, Dreier said:

“This Congress stands with our President, with our men and women in uniform against the terrorist threat posed by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.”

Oddly enough, Dreier has spent more time cutting the benefits of war veterans than he has spent alongside men and women in Iraq. Which would be none.

But really, I think it’s great that Dreier is coming.

When I think of the ethos of the University, I think of David Dreier. After all, he is the obvious choice to address a University founded and still closely tied to a church that holds pacifism among it’s prime tenets.

Before presenting such partisan opinion as fact, we should remember where we are.

Students and faculty at ULV, an institution of higher learning, are not as easily taken by context- and content-deficient sloganism, whether it spews to the right or the left.

That may fly on either the O’Reilly or O’Franken Factor, but not in an institution that prides itself on the promotion of critical thinking among its students.

I know I’m making the most of my $1,600 worth of Core 300.

Kenneth Todd Ruiz, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. He can be reached by e-mail at

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