Columbia University Calls Off Main Graduation Ceremony Due To Gaza Protests

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Columbia, the esteemed New York institution at the centre of US campus demonstrations against the Gaza War, declared on Monday that it will not be holding the traditional commencement ceremony the following week.

With a series of smaller festivities planned in its place, the Ivy League school said that it would “forego the university-wide ceremony that is scheduled for May 15”.

“We are determined to give our students the celebration they deserve, and that they want,” Columbia announced, saying “Smaller-scale, school-based celebrations are most meaningful to them and their families.”

“We will focus our resources on those school ceremonies and on keeping them safe, respectful, and running smoothly. A great deal of effort is already underway to reach that goal,” the university said.

For weeks, anti-Israel protests against Hamas in Gaza have shaken American campuses, leading to large arrests, crackdowns, and a White House order to restore peace.

Police removed demonstrators who had taken over a Columbia University building and dispersed an illegal camp on the school’s lawn last week.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden spoke out against the demonstrations and emphasized that “order must prevail”.

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