Graduation Cancelled?

( – Amidst the ongoing protests around the nation’s universities, Columbia University recently decided to cancel its primary graduation event scheduled for May 15th due to ongoing anti-Israel protests on campus.

The protesters have been loud in their demands for the university to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel following a counteroffensive in Gaza after an attack by Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by many countries.

In response to the strikes, Columbia’s administration had warned protesters of potential suspensions if they did not leave the encampments. Instead of a university-wide start, graduates will now be honored at smaller, school-specific ceremonies.

According to a university statement, students and their families value these smaller events, which allow for personal recognition and participation in a more intimate setting.

The New York Post reported that the disruption peaked when pro-Palestinian protesters occupied Columbia’s Hamilton Hall, reportedly taking a university employee hostage.

Moreover, the administration expressed that the past few weeks have been exceptionally challenging and is considering a festive event on May 15 to replace the traditional large-scale ceremony, hoping to foster a sense of unity and celebration among graduates.

House Republican Speaker Mike Johnson has sharply criticized Columbia’s handling of the situation.

“They’ve allowed outside agitators and terrorist-sympathizing students and faculty to rewrite campus rules and spew vile, anti-Jewish aggression. Now, thousands of students who’ve worked hard to achieve their degrees will not get the recognition they deserve,” said Johnson.

In a statement, he accused President Nemat “Minouche” Shafik and her administration of failing to maintain control of the campus, allowing the influence of “outside agitators and terrorist-sympathizing students and faculty.”

He has called for Shafik’s removal and argued that strong moral leadership is needed to restore order and integrity at Columbia and other major universities facing similar disruptions.

This situation at Columbia is part of a broader pattern of anti-Israel protests occurring at several universities across the United States, including Yale, Emerson College, UCLA, and UNC Chapel Hill, reflecting heightened tensions and differing viewpoints on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within academic communities.

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