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Columbia University Cancels May 15 Commencement Ceremony

Columbia University has announced the cancellation of its university-wide commencement ceremony originally set for May 15.

Many graduating seniors have faced disruptions to milestone events like high school graduations due to the pandemic.

In a statement released Monday morning, the university explained its decision to prioritize Class Days and school-level ceremonies. “Based on input from student leaders, the University has chosen to focus on individual recognition alongside peers at these events, foregoing the large-scale May 15 ceremony. While ensuring a memorable graduation experience remains our priority, we continue to seek student input and explore options for a celebratory event on May 15 in lieu of the traditional ceremony.”

Columbia also cited logistical considerations, including the need to accommodate the encampment and the university-wide ceremony in the same location, as a factor in calling upon the NYPD last Tuesday.

House Speaker Mike Johnson said University President Minouche Shafik has ceded “control to Hamas supporters” and called for her immediate removal.

“President Shafik and Columbia University administrators have displayed a shocking unwillingness to control their campus. 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,” Johnson said.

However, a Columbia spokesperson said holding a large commencement ceremony on campus presented security concerns that “proved insurmountable.”

“The university was unable to identify an alternative venue that could host such a large event. Like our students, we are deeply disappointed with this outcome,” the spokesperson said.

Columbia has requested NYPD presence until at least May 17 to maintain order.


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