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Tags: new college of florida | protesters | graduation

New College of Florida Gets Tough With Protester Grads

By    |   Thursday, 30 May 2024 06:03 PM EDT

The New College of Florida is moving forward with disciplinary action — including withholding diplomas — against some students who took part in rowdy protests at the college's May 17 graduation ceremony.

In a statement, New College said it had filed five conduct violation complaints related to the school's student code of conduct, according to the Herald-Tribune, which said it had obtained one of the letters.

New College President Richard Corcoran said in a statement students could face consequences — ranging from withholding degrees until they issue an apology letter or take mandatory classes on civil discourse, to suspension or expulsion, the news outlet reported.

The Office of Student Affairs filed conduct violation complaints against five students who disrupted the commencement, booing speaker Joe Ricketts, founder and former CEO of TD Ameritrade, and shouting expletives and "free Palestine!" the Herald-Tribune reported.

Before graduation, the college had posted it expected students to "conduct themselves in an appropriate manner, demonstrating respect for fellow graduates, guests, and speakers." 

But during the ceremony, the student section erupted in boos, chants of "free Palestine" and expletives as Ricketts spoke, the Herald-Tribune reported. 

Students also wore stoles bearing the flag of Palestine, following a national trend of higher education protests against the war in Gaza.

"They don’t care," Ricketts said to Corcoran on stage after stopping his speech, the news outlet reported. "I hate it, but they really don’t care what I have to say."

In commentary in The Wall Street Journal, Corcoran said students will get due process through the school's conduct hearings.

"That students intermittently disrupted the proceedings was a disheartening reflection of the prevailing intolerance for diverse viewpoints in today’s society," Corcoran wrote. "But that illiberal attitude hasn’t and won’t rule New College."

Withholding a degree is a rare move that is normally used when a student is found to have plagiarized or cheated to earn the credential, the Washington Examiner reported.

But after Gov. Ron DeSantis restructured the New College, respectful political discourse became a top concern in differentiating the school from others that critics describe as a left-wing echo chamber in higher education, the Washington Examiner wrote.

"We support and protect the right of free speech while resolutely insisting upon civil discourse," the school wrote, the Washington Examiner reported. "Disruptive activities by a few individuals at a ceremonial event attended by hundreds is not representative of either of these principles."

Fran Beyer

Fran Beyer is a writer with Newsmax and covers national politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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The New College of Florida is moving forward with disciplinary action — including withholding diplomas — against some students who took part in rowdy protests at the college's May 17 graduation ceremony.
new college of florida, protesters, graduation
398
2024-03-30
Thursday, 30 May 2024 06:03 PM
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