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Professors and students facing disciplinary action over Israel-Hamas protests

From Harvard to Michigan to Morehouse, students have disrupted graduation ceremonies calling for peace in Gaza.
University of Chicago employees clear out a pro-Palestinian encampment after police closed off the area
Posted at 7:29 PM, Jun 04, 2024

As graduation season sweeps across America's college campuses, some students who demonstrated to stop the war in Gaza are now facing consequences.

At the University of Chicago, four students involved in pro-Palestine demonstrations are having their degrees withheld.

Vanderbilt expelled three students back in April following a sit-in in the chancellor's office.

And student protesters at Emory University could face criminal charges just weeks after walking across the stage.

Madeline Gordon tossed her tassel just last month, but says this has all drastically changed her relationship with her alma mater.

"I trusted my university to protect me and to protect my peers. It felt like a cleaning of my hands to be able to graduate. It's not easy to feel proud to be aligned with Emory at any level right now," Gordon said.

Emory has not responded to our request for comment on Gordon's ongoing situation.

Palestinian demonstrators are escorted out of the UW-Madison Commencement.

U.S. News

Small pro-Palestinian protests held Saturday during college commencements

AP via Scripps News
5:21 PM, May 11, 2024

In Illinois, 16 local aldermen have called on the University of Chicago to allow the graduating seniors to receive their degrees, calling the university's actions "punitive" and "unjustified."

Professor Chris Kennedy also spoke in support of those students at the graduation over the weekend.

"At an institution that's geared towards learning, the goal would be, take these situations and turn them into something where we can all learn something. I don't think we learn things by punishing people," professor Kennedy said.

While the University of Chicago hasn't commented on the specific allegations, it did release a statement explaining "degrees can be conferred expeditiously depending upon the resolution."

From Harvard, to Michigan, to Morehouse, students have disrupted graduation ceremonies calling for peace in Gaza.

For Madeline Gordon, this entire ordeal, while troublesome, has been well worth it.

Gordon says, "I think in the grand scheme of things like what I've lost is, is very, very, very, very, very small. Considering what the Palestinian people are losing right now."

While the majority of these campus protests nationwide remained peaceful, at least a handful involved violence, including clashes with police. And students across the country have reported antisemitic incidents alongside or amid the protests.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include additional context about the protests nationwide, including some incidents of violence and antisemitism.