May 1, 2024 - News

Indiana University adding protest zone outside commencement

Indiana University campus

Photo: Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Indiana University is creating a protest zone outside this weekend's commencement ceremonies in Bloomington.

The big picture: Colleges and universities across the country are grappling with how to move forward with commencement ceremonies amid ongoing pro-Palestinian protests that have led to unrest over the last week.

Zoom in: Hundreds of people have protested on IU's Bloomington campus, and dozens of demonstrators have been arrested.

What they're saying: IU officials said in an email Wednesday that they remain committed to celebrating its graduates in planned commencement ceremonies, balancing safety with free speech.

  • "Our ceremonies will have a designated area for protests outside the venue," the email said, "and inside the venue staffers will respond to disruptions, beginning with warnings and requests to respect the importance of the celebrations for our graduates and their families."

If you go: Graduate commencement is Friday, with the processional starting at 2:30pm and the ceremony at 3pm in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

  • The undergraduate ceremony is Saturday in Memorial Stadium, with the processional at 7pm and ceremony at 7:45pm.
  • Guests will walk through metal detectors upon arrival and all bags will be subject to inspection.
  • Guests are permitted to bring clear bags that are approximately the size of a one-gallon freezer bag or small clutch approximately the size of a hand.
  • Prohibited items include backpacks, banners, placards, flags, noise makers, weapons, packages and outside food and beverage.
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