Columbia Calls Off University-Wide Graduation Ceremony Following Anti-Israel Protests – One America News Network

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 1: Pro-Palestinian protesters rally outside of a building where they had established an encampment at Fordham University Lincoln Center campus on May 01, 2024 in New York City. The occupation of the building comes a day after police raided both Columbia University and City College, arresting dozens and closing down encampments there. (Photo by Alex Kent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Kent/Getty Images)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
11:07 AM – Monday, May 6, 2024

After weeks of disruptive and chaotic anti-Israel protests that shut down normal campus activities and even in-person classes, Columbia University is now postponing its commencement ceremony for the whole campus on May 15th.


A little over three weeks after pro-Palestinian protests broke out at the Ivy League school, Columbia University declared on Monday that it will be cancelling its grand graduating ceremony and it would be holding smaller ceremonies in each of its 19 colleges instead.

The institution has decided to substitute “smaller-scale, school-based celebrations” in its place.

According to a university administrator who spoke with the Guardian outlet, security concerns played a role in the decision to cancel the university-wide event.

The majority of the activities will now take place at an athletics center farther north in Manhattan, rather than on the Morningside Heights campus’s main lawn, which served as the focal point of student protests demanding that the university cut all ties from Israel.

Additionally, the renowned South Lawn in Columbia, where hundreds of protestors were detained for refusing to disperse from a sizable tent camp, would no longer host the pared ceremonies.

“We have decided to make the centerpiece of our commencement activities our class days and school-level ceremonies, where students are honored individually alongside their peers, rather than the university-wide ceremony that is scheduled for May 15th,” the school said in a statement.

The university mentioned that the decision to cancel the commencement was made after discussing the issue with students.

“Our graduating students, their families, and their loved ones are very focused on our upcoming commencement celebrations. We are as well. We are determined to give our students the celebration they deserve, and that they want,” the announcement said. “Our students emphasized that these smaller-scale, school-based celebrations are most meaningful to them and their families. As a result, we will focus our resources on those school ceremonies and on keeping them safe, respectful, and running smoothly.”

The action was taken less than a week after Morningside Heights police officers invaded the school to drive out a pro-terror mob that had illegally taken over the university’s landmark Hamilton Hall building. The protests had unlawfully been raging on the campus since last month, but this move marked a drastic escalation.

During the ordeal, about 100 demonstrators were handcuffed and transported away. It was also the second occurrence in as many weeks that the New York Police Department (NYPD) had been called to the campus to clear out the protests.

Columbia previously canceled in-person classes due to the expanding encampment and asked that the NYPD officers remain on campus until at least May 17th, which is two days after the postponed commencement.

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