Columbia Cancels 2024 Commencement Amid Security Concerns

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Monday, May 06, 2024 - 01:35 PM

Columbia University announced Monday that it's canceling its two main 2024 commencement ceremonies on May 15, and will instead hold "smaller-scale, school-based celebrations," according to officials.

Columbia University students participate in an ongoing pro-Palestinian encampment on their campus on April 26, 2024 in New York City.
(Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

The move comes after weeks of pro-Palestinian protesters had to be forcibly removed and suspended after they refused to leave their encampment which sprouted on campus April 17, when around 50 tents were pitched by students demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. The students also insist that the university divest from companies they say could be profiting from war. Dozens of faculty members came out in support.

According to NBC News, the decision was made over security concerns, after administrators at Ivy League school met with student leaders following a NYPD raid on Hamilton Hall, after student protesters broke in, barricaded themselves inside, and wrecked the place.

"Our students emphasized that these smaller-scale, school-based celebrations are most meaningful to them and their families," the university said Monday. "They are eager to cross the stage to applause and family pride and hear from their school’s invited guest speakers. As a result, we will focus our resources on those school ceremonies and on keeping them safe, respectful, and running smoothly."

Now, students will be "honored individually alongside their peers" in the smaller ceremonies, called "Class Days."

The "Class Days" and other school ceremonies which were originally scheduled at the South Lawn of Morningside campus have also been relocated to the Columbia Baker Athletics Complex.

"These past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for our community. Just as we are focused on making our graduation experience truly special, we continue to solicit student feedback and are looking at the possibility of a festive event on May 15 to take the place of the large, formal ceremony," said school officials.

"We are eager to all come together for our graduates and celebrate our fellow Columbians as they, and we, look ahead to the future."

Now, on May 15, graduation ceremonies will take place at different times and different locations for the the journalism school, college of physicians and surgeons, Barnard College, and the school of arts. Other school-based ceremonies will occur throughout next week as well.

The University Of Southern California was the first known major university to cancel a graduation ceremony over the nationwide demonstrations.

So all that hard work for this, kids... and on the heels of the pandemic. Normal life eludes once again.