Delaine Eastin, former State Superintendent of Public Instruction and former candidate for Governor, will be speaking at a UC Riverside commencement next Tuesday. This statement is in response to a recent request from a union regarding an ongoing strike. Eastin believes it is important to honor her previous commitment to address the students and celebrate the graduating class, though she supports the workers and their right to strike.
“To me, graduation should be about the students, a celebration of their hard work to earn their degree, and a celebration for their families and friends. As the first in my family’s direct line to graduate from college and then from graduate school, my graduations remain some of the most special days of my life. It’s why I chose to be sworn in at UC Davis, decades later. I will be speaking to graduate students, and also note that nearly 60% of UCR undergraduates will be the first in their families to complete a four year degree, and to me they all deserve a day to be celebrated,” stated Eastin.
“While I have always stood with labor, I have also always stood with students. I did offer to stand with AFSCME earlier in their strike and I will again. For the students’ commencement, I hope the adults will set an example and put aside their issues for one day and celebrate these students, the leaders of our future. It is one of those days to be remembered and cherished. Many parents and families sacrificed. Many graduates accepted crippling debt. Graduation is a day to celebrate accomplishments and to imagine brilliant tomorrows and not a day to prioritize adult grievances.