Modifications in college graduation ceremonies across the nation (includes video story)

Across the United States, graduates are lining up to receive their degrees after years of hard work. However for some students, priorities lie elsewhere. 

Numerous universities have financial involvements with Israel. Recent weeks have seen many pro-Palestinian students protesting for their universities to divest funds. With no change, students have taken to the commencement stage for their final demonstration. As one student from Pomona College in Los Angeles, Elaine, puts it, “As our universities celebrate, we should also be extremely critical of their involvement that has led to the decimation of entire educational infrastructure,” referencing that all of the universities in Gaza have been destroyed as a result of Israel’s attempted attacks on Hamas. The protests have garnered mixed feelings from many other students and parents frustrated by the protests.

In North Carolina, videos show numerous students walking out before comedian Jerry Seinfeld spoke at their commencement as several students hold Palestinian flags. Similar protests can be seen at Virginia Commonwealth University during the Governor’s speech, and at UC Berkeley the same day, when students chanted. 

As a result, a handful of universities administrators have decided to change, or even cancel, commencement plans. Others are still holding ceremonies, despite the protests from students. 

Natalie Pereira is a multimedia production student at Florida International University. She is passionate about film and creative content. Pereira was a social media manager for Hot Topic where she curated content for their page. She has experience making multimedia pieces about fashion. Pereira is also making active contributions to her passion for music by creating videos. Pereira will graduate from the Lee Caplin School of Journalism and Media with a bachelor’s degree in digital communication in Spring 2025.