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Universities in the United States have been dealing with disruptions and protests by pro-Palestinian demonstrators at graduation ceremonies. Some schools have reached agreements with protesters, while others have canceled or relocated their ceremonies citing safety concerns. The University of Pennsylvania experienced 19 arrests, including seven students, as pro-Palestinian protesters attempted to occupy a university building. The protesters called for divestment from corporations profiting from Israel’s actions in Gaza and Palestine and condemned the mistreatment of Palestinian scholars.

The University of California, Los Angeles faced internal division when resolutions of no confidence and censure against the school’s chancellor were rejected by the Academic Senate. The resolutions were brought following an attack on a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus that was claimed to have been mishandled by the chancellor. The divisions within the senate show a lack of unity on how major events have been handled and responded to on campus. The hope is for colleagues to find common ground and listen with open minds and hearts, despite differing opinions.

At Sonoma State University, President Mike Lee announced agreements with campus protesters without proper approvals, leading to his stepping down after being placed on administrative leave for insubordination. The agreements with Students for Justice in Palestine led to the review of vendor contracts and investments, as well as the termination of study abroad programs in Israel. The lack of proper approval for these actions led to repercussions for Lee within the university system.

Morehouse College President David A. Thomas in Atlanta stated that he would shut down commencement ceremonies if needed to prevent police from removing student protesters during President Joe Biden’s graduation speech. He emphasized the importance of not allowing disruptive behavior that would prevent the enjoyment of the ceremony, even if it means ending the ceremony on the spot. Biden’s presence at Morehouse College comes amid criticism over his administration’s support of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, with protests occurring during his speeches and campaign events in the past.

President Joe Biden has faced protests over his administration’s support of Israel during some of his speeches and campaign events. His upcoming commencement address at the United States Military Academy at West Point may also be met with protests over his stance on Israel’s actions. Biden has been confronted by protesters multiple times during his speeches, showing a growing frustration with his administration’s support of Israel. Despite weak polling numbers among young voters, Biden continues to face challenges from various groups regarding his stance on international affairs.

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