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Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

More than 5,900 people — many of whom are alumni and current students — have signed a petition urging Taylor University, an evangelical school in rural Indiana, to rescind its invitation for Vice President Mike Pence to deliver the commencement address next month, reports the Washington Post.

"Inviting Vice President Pence to Taylor University and giving him a coveted platform for his political views makes our alumni, faculty, staff and current students complicit in the Trump-Pence Administration's policies, which we believe are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear."
— the petition’s author, Alex Hoekstra, who graduated from Taylor in 2007, wrote

Details: According to the Post, the university's divided faculty voted 61-49 last week, condemning Pence's invitation.

  • Pence, who has defended or been silent on a number of President Trump's controversial policies, faced similar protests when more than 100 students at Notre Dame, a Catholic university in South Bend, Indiana, walked out during his 2017 commencement speech.

In his announcement last week about the school's selection, Taylor University's president, Paul Lowell Haines, called Pence a "good friend to the University ... [and] a Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates."

Why it matters: Per the Washington Post: Pence's planned appearance at the religiously affiliated school "has become a lightning rod in the intensifying debate over faith and politics."

Go deeper: Buttigieg targets Trump, Pence in warning LGBTQ struggles not over

Go deeper

Updated 54 mins ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

4 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

10 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.