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Live updates: Pro-Palestinian university protests at UCLA, USC, Michigan campuses



As graduation ceremonies began at colleges and universities across the US this weekend, amid pro-Palestinian protests on campus, some major universities like Columbia have decided to either cancel or modify their main commencement ceremonies.

The University of Southern California was the first to cancel its main commencement ceremony at the end of April, citing “new safety measures in place.” As arrests unfolded and escalated across campus encampments last week, other universities are following suit.

Demands vary for these pro-Palestinian protests that have swept university campuses in recent weeks, but most demonstrators are calling for their schools to divest from companies and other entities that they say support or benefit from Israel’s war in Gaza.

Here are the latest developments:

Harvard University: The school warned that protesters involved in the pro-Palestinian encampment face “involuntary leave” and may not be able to sit for exams and may not reside in Harvard housing.

Columbia University: Columbia University on Monday canceled its university-wide commencement ceremony planned for next week due in part to security concerns, a university official told CNN. Instead, Columbia said it will “make the centerpiece of our Commencement activities our Class Day and school-level ceremonies, where students are honored individually alongside their peers.”

Emory University: Atlanta’s Emory University on Monday announced it will scale back and relocate its commencement ceremony, also citing concerns for safety and security as the main reasoning for adjusting plans.

Princeton hunger strike: Some students at Princeton University in New Jersey have launched a hunger strike until their demands are met, according to a student protest group. At least 17 undergraduate students were taking part as of Sunday, according to the Daily Princetonian. Princeton told CNN they “care about their well-being,” and that physicians were monitoring the group. 

British universities: The campus protests have spread across the Atlantic, where pro-Palestinian encampments have been set up at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in England, as students there call on leadership to sever ties to Israel. In the statement, the group said they “stand in solidarity” with students across the globe “from CUNY to UCLA, Trinity College to Sciences Po.”  

University of Southern California: Police cleared a pro-Palestinian protest encampment at USC without making any arrests Sunday, the school said. It was the second time the school dismantled an encampment at the Los Angeles university. School President Carol Folt said in a statement that the protesters had chosen to “break the law” and that encampments won’t be tolerated on campus.

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