VIDEO: Columbia University Student Rips Up Diploma While Protesting Israel-Palestine Conflict, Sparks Debate

VIDEO: Columbia University Student Rips Up Diploma While Protesting Israel-Palestine Conflict, Sparks Debate

The student protested the University's alleged "complicity in the ongoing genocide in Gaza". The act, since the video has gone viral and garnered over 50K views, is seen by many as a "publicity stunt".

Siksha MUpdated: Monday, May 13, 2024, 03:27 PM IST
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Columbia University Student Seen Tearing Her Diploma During Graduation Ceremony | Visegrád 24/X

A video shared by the X handle Visegrád 24, an account that publishes information related to current events, including the Hamas-Israel conflict, shows a Columbia University graduate student tearing her diploma on stage in protest of the University's alleged "complicity in the ongoing genocide in Gaza".

During the graduation ceremony at the University, the student, belonging to the University's School of Social Work, is seen ripping up her degree certificate at the University's New York Campus while allegedly demanding a ceasefire in Gaza. Prior to the graduation ceremony, several PhD students at the University were seen walking out of the event.

The Vice Chancellor of the university, while not reacting to the student's act, is seen to be stunned by it in the video. The act, since the video has gone viral and garnered over 50K views, is seen by many as a "publicity stunt".

Students were arrested recently, leading to unrest on campus

As per New York Daily News, some students who may have had ties to the university were arrested recently when they had set up pro-Gaza encampments in the University's main campus, meant to replicate the ongoing turmoil at the Gaza strip. The encampment, which had led to around 109 protestors being arrested in and around the Columbia University campus, had been covered widely by US news outlets.

The university has since then sought police intervention twice, since the encampment was erected in campus mid-April.

According to New York Daily News, Ahmed Suleyman, 22, was recently seen standing on Amsterdam Ave. in his Columbia blue cap and gown with a makeshift sign that read: “COPS OFF CAMPUS.”  A bunch of students, since their undergraduate classes were done with for the semester, have been seen rallying for rights of Palestinians, as also against some members of the university leadership. For at least a week now, a huge police presence has been seen surrounding the campus.

Students from the University call for a liberated Palestine

An X handle by the name of Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, shared the viral video on X and said: "Graduation protest from Social Work students at Columbia University. Social workers are called to challenge injustice & fight against oppression under their code of ethics. We believe in a liberated Palestine in our lifetime".

The footage has garnered outrage on X with many users questioning whether the student's act may be sourcing from a mental illness. Some have gone on to say that the student wasted her education away, while others have commented saying that the student in question should not be hired by potential employers due to her action as seen in the video.

The administration at Columbia has not yet made a formal statement on the matter.

On the same day of the ceremony, several other students were seen taking Palestine's national flag to the stage, while some raised slogans demanding an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict in the Middle East.

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