Fri. May 31st, 2024

University of Vermont cancels UN ambassador’s address amid Gaza protests 

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May16,2024

The University of Vermont (UVM) has canceled United Nations Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s commencement speech amid pro-Palestinian protests on campus as protests sweep colleges across the nation.

“We are looking forward to the upcoming Commencement ceremonies and the opportunity to celebrate our 2024 UVM graduates,” Suresh Garimella, the university’s president, said in a message to the university community Friday obtained by The Hill. 

“After their years of hard work and commitment to success, they deserve a weekend of ceremony and celebration befitting their accomplishment,” Garmimella continued. “It is with regret that I share that our planned speaker, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, will not be joining us to deliver the Commencement address.”

An Instagram post by UVM’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine celebrated the cancellation, calling Thomas-Greenfield a “war criminal.”

Pro-Palestinian protestors on college campuses across the country have aimed their ire at President Biden and his administration for their handling of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas amid the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. The Democratic National Committee’s college outreach arm, the College Democrats of America, has also voiced solidarity with the pro-Palestinian protestors and slammed the White House over how it has dealt with the conflict.

“The White House has taken the mistaken route of a bear hug strategy for [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] and a cold shoulder strategy for its own base and all Americans who want to see an end to this war. Each day that Democrats fail to stand united for a permanent ceasefire, two-state solution, and recognition of a Palestinian state, more and more youth find themselves disillusioned with the party,” a statement by the College Democrats reads. 

President Biden criticized aspects of some recent pro-Palestinian protests including property damage in prepared remarks at the White House Thursday.

“Destroying property is not a peaceful protest, it’s against the law. Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduation. None of this is a peaceful protest, threatening people, intimidating people,” Biden said.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protests have erupted across higher education institutions in recent weeks, leading to hundreds of arrests and causing several universities, including UVM, to adjust their graduation plans.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “University of Vermont cancels UN ambassador’s address amid Gaza protests ”
  1. As a student, I believe that the university made the right decision to cancel Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield’s speech amidst the protests. It’s important for the campus to prioritize the safety and well-being of its students during such sensitive times.

  2. As a student, I believe the University made the right decision in canceling the UN Ambassador’s speech. It’s important for educational institutions to stand in solidarity with marginalized communities. The protests highlight the need for constructive dialogue and a peaceful resolution to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

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