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Harvard University has decided to move forward with graduation bans against some students involved in pro-Palestine protests.

The university’s governing board rejected a faculty effort to allow 13 students, who were sanctioned due to their participation in pro-Palestine protests, to receive their degrees and graduate. This decision, described by The Harvard Crimson as “unprecedented,” comes as growing tension continues to increase between some faculty members and the school’s administration. According to some reports, these students were involved in “organizing, harassing, and breaking” University rules. 

What happened:
Earlier in the week, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) voted to recommend that the sanctioned students be permitted to graduate, defying a prior decision from the university’s administrative board. However, the Harvard Corporation vetoed this faculty vote, once again preventing the students from obtaining their degrees. The corporation stated, “Because the students included as the result of Monday’s amendment are not in good standing, we cannot responsibly vote to award them degrees at this time.”

Typically, the approval of graduates by the FAS and acceptance of faculty measures by the corporation are routine procedures. However, the situation surrounding the student protesters has disrupted this standard process. Professor Steven Levitsky warned that overturning the faculty vote could lead to significant backlash, saying, “I would expect a faculty rebellion, possibly a faculty rebellion against the entire governance structure.”

Despite this, the corporation indicated that these students might still receive their degrees if their disciplinary cases are resolved favorably through the university’s standard review process.


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