It seems, from the media coverage of the student protests surrounding Syracuse University’s decision to invite Jamie Dimon to give a commencement address this year, as though all students at the school are united in their disgust at the university’s decision to give the slot to a dread CEO in the aftermath of the country’s worst financial crisis. But you can’t always trust the the liberal, anti-corporate media to bring you the full picture! Which is why Daily Intel had student Melanie Rivera saunter over to the university’s School of Management and ask business majors if anyone there, at least, was excited about the upcoming visit from our favorite PILF. Unsurprisingly, she found quite a few Dimon supporters, and even a Dimon scholar.
Warning: If you fondly remember the sixties, sticking it to the man, we shall overcome, etc., some of the sentiments expressed herein may shock you.
You’ve been pretty vocal about Dimon coming to speak at commencement. You even started a campus-wide Facebook group in support of him. Tell us why you’re so supportive?
“I don’t think people are taking into account who Dimon really is. They just see the head of a bank making millions of dollars a year. As far as his academic background, people aren’t talking about the fact that he went to Tufts University and is a post-graduate of Harvard Business School. He has an abundance of academic background in terms of knowledge and business.”
What are your opinions on Dimon coming to address our graduating class?
As the leader of a financial-services firm, he has a lot to say. Obviously, not everyone is going to agree with corporate American big businesses, but I think that at this point students should just embrace it and realize that their debate is not going to change anything. They should just embellish the opportunity and take Dimon’s words into consideration.”
“A commencement speaker shouldn’t be someone who will just present a message of hope, you know, this whole idea that ‘the world is good’ because it’s not always ‘good.’ You want a speaker to say, ‘You have an education. How are you going to use it to survive, overcome, and subsequently succeed?’ Dimon is a figure in recent history that has the experience to be able to deliver this message, and I think he’ll do a great job in doing so.”
Jamie Dimon for commencement 2010. What do you think?
“The thing people don’t understand is that they think he’s just some leader of a corporation. But he’s more than that. He’s a world leader. That bank is in every single big country. He’s arguably one of the most powerful people in the world. I mean, the banking industry pretty much runs everything, the monetary system and everything that comes with it. This guy is one of the best in the industry. If you don’t want to hear him speak, to me, is just outrageous.”
You received your undergrad from SU last year. The commencement speaker was Vice-President Joe Biden. How was the feedback from the selection of last year’s commencement speaker comparable to the feedback of this year’s speaker?
“After experiencing last year’s commencement address, it’s apparent that it’s impossible to please everyone. There’s going to be some level of disagreement no matter who comes to speak. It happened with Biden, it’s happening with Dimon, and it’ll most likely happen with whoever comes to speak next year as well. Regardless, I’m interested to hear what he has to say.”