Rutgers Students Protest Condoleezza Rice Speech

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014  |  Updated 4:47 AM EDT
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Rutgers Students Protest Condoleezza Rice Speech

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WASHINGTON - JANUARY 12: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks during a news conference at the Department of State January 12, 2009 in Washington, DC. Rice attended the news conference of the release of "The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief 2009." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Condoleezza Rice

Roughly 50 Rutgers University students are staging a sit-in at a school administration building in New Brunswick to protest the school's decision to invite Condoleezza Rice to speak at the university's commencement next month.

The school's Board of Governors voted to pay the former secretary of state under President George W. Bush and national security adviser $35,000 for her appearance at the May 18 ceremony.

But several faculty members and students want the invitation rescinded because of Rice's role in the Iraq War.

University President Robert Barchi and other school leaders have resisted the calls to "disinvite" Rice, saying the university welcomes open discourse on controversial topics.

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