Pro-Palestinian Columbia Student in Handcuffs Tears Diploma During Graduation Ceremony

A Columbia University student wearing zip ties around her hands tore up her diploma on stage in protest of the war in Gaza.

After being handed her diploma, the graduate turned to the audience and ripped it into several pieces. 

Other students in the program also wore various Arabic garments under and on top of their robes and zip-ties to resemble Palestinian war prisoners.

One graduate had the name of Hamas leader Mazen Jamal Al-Natsheh written across the top of her cap. 

Earlier this month, Columbia University canceled its university-wide commencement ceremony.

In a May 6 statement, the university announced, “We are determined to give our students the celebration they deserve, and that they want. Our Deans and other colleagues who work directly with our students have been discussing plans with student leaders, and, most importantly, listening. Based on their feedback, we have decided to make the centerpiece of our Commencement activities our Class Days and school-level ceremonies, where students are honored individually alongside their peers, rather than the University-wide ceremony that is scheduled for May 15.

The statement added that the “past few weeks have been incredibly difficult for our community” amid widespread student protests.

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

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