Harvard University’s governing board pulls degrees for 13 pro-Palestinian student protestors

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Thirteen students who participated in the three-week-long pro-Palestine encampment in Harvard Yard will not receive their diplomas alongside their classmates after Harvard University’s governing body rejected a motion that would allow them to graduate.

The Harvard Corporation, the university’s governing body, said Wednesday the 13 students will be able to participate in the ceremony but will not receive their degrees, citing the Harvard College handbook.

“Today, we have voted to confer 1,539 degrees to Harvard College students in good standing. 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,” the Harvard Corporation stated on the school’s website.

The announcement came two days after Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted to allow the 13 students currently suspended or on probation their degrees.

According to the Boston Globe, 115 faculty members gathered for the vote to approve the list of graduating seniors, adding an amendment for the 13 students not in good standing.

“Each of these students has been found by the College’s Administrative Board—the body established by the FAS faculty to investigate and adjudicate disciplinary matters—to have violated the University’s policies by their conduct during their participation in the recent encampment in Harvard Yard,” the statement from the Presidents and Fellows of Harvard reads. “We respect each faculty’s responsibility to determine appropriate discipline for its students. Monday’s faculty vote did not, however, revisit these disciplinary rulings, did not purport to engage in the individualized assessment of each case that would ordinarily be required to do so, and, most importantly, did not claim to restore the students to good standing.”

On Sunday, anti-Israel protesters marched from Harvard to the home of interim president Alan Garber for the second time. They are upset that students who participated in the three-week-long encampment are being disciplined.

Harvard’s Administrative Board had previously suspended 5 students, placed 20 on probation and blocked 14 seniors from receiving degrees

“We understand that the inability to graduate is consequential for students and their families,” the governing board said. “We fully support the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ stated intention to provide expedited review, at this time, of eligible requests for reconsideration or appeal. We will consider conferral of degrees promptly if, following the completion of all FAS processes, a student becomes eligible to receive a degree.”

Harvard’s graduation will take place Thursday morning.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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