Columbia Cancels Main Graduation Ceremony After Weeks of Anti-Israel Protests

Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (Instagram)
May 6, 2024

Columbia University on Monday announced it is canceling its main commencement ceremony after weeks of anti-Israel protests and hundreds of arrests on campus.

The university administrators canceled the graduation ceremony scheduled for May 15, instead focusing on "Class Days and school-level ceremonies, where students are honored individually alongside their peers," according to a press release by Columbia.

"These past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for our community," the administrators said of the chaotic and oftentimes violent demonstrations on campus that led to hundreds of Columbia students being arrested and suspended.

School officials said they may hold a "festive event" in place of the large graduation ceremony that was canceled. "We are eager to all come together for our graduates and celebrate our fellow Columbians as they, and we, look ahead to the future," the press release added. 

Columbia’s announcement came after the University of Southern California in late April said it would cancel its main graduation ceremony scheduled for May 10. USC had already canceled all commencement speeches but decided to not hold the graduation ceremony altogether following a series of student protests that resulted in 93 arrests.