June 14, 2024

Source: ABC 10 News San Diego


By: Laura Acevedo

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Just a day before UCSD kicks off its graduation weekend, Palestinian students organized an unofficial ceremony and celebration off campus.

The group gathered at Balboa Park, celebrating with music, the Palestinian flag, and their cap and gowns.

In a social media post, groups called it the People’s Graduation, which they say was planned in response to UCSD not letting students protesting for Gaza walk at graduation.

However, they wouldn’t answer questions about the students with graduation holds at the event.

“We’re doing it in commemoration of all the students in Gaza who are not able to graduate this year, who are not able to enjoy their lives and go on to glorious futures like these students are,” said Tazheen Nizam, the executive director of CAIR San Diego.

Just last week, students at UC San Diego told ABC 10News that seven seniors who participated in the Gaza solidarity encampment on campus in May had received holds on their degrees and that the school was withholding their transcripts.

ABC 10News was told Friday’s unofficial graduation was to celebrate in a space where they feel safe and secure while honoring students in Gaza.

“So for them to celebrate their heritage and their existence, sometimes they have to go off campus and celebrate their Palestinian identities,” explained Nizam.

UC San Diego declined to comment, telling us it wasn’t a university event. When asked about the degree and transcript holds, they replied with the following statement:

The university implemented student conduct policies immediately, but the process is complicated. The hearing officer can make a decision and the decision can be appealed through the process. There are a range of sanctions that can be determined as part of the process. There is also the ability to make appeals throughout the process. Please check the Center for Student Accountability, Growth and Education website [sage.ucsd.edu] and this Student Conduct Process Flow Chart [sage.ucsd.edu] for additional details.

UC San Diego University Communications

The university’s graduations are set for Saturday and Sunday.