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Two universities let students cancel Biden UN ambassador for Israel support

Handful of students at University of Vermont and Xavier University now in charge

Two universities recently let students issue a heckler’s veto and stop planned graduation speeches by President Joe Biden’s ambassador to the United Nations.

But there was a better way to handle the situation.

University of Vermont will no longer host UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield as its keynote speaker this upcoming weekend following backlash from pro-Palestinian activists.

“Protesters had demanded that Thomas-Greenfield be removed as the university’s commencement speaker, saying that the ambassador was complicit in the U.S.’ decision to veto three U.N. resolutions calling for a cease-fire in Gaza amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas war,” the VTDigger reported.

The university president wrote that opposition from a “vocal minority” led the school to cancel the ambassador (pictured).

“Our graduating students want to enjoy the celebration of commencement, and we do not want the potential of disruption from a vocal minority to interfere with the moment,” President Suresh Garimella wrote, as reported by the VTDigger.

UVM Students for Justice in Palestine declared “victory” on its Instagram page.

“Victory! War criminal Linda Thomas-Greenfield cancelled,” the Instagram graphic stated. “When we fight, we win.”

A Catholic, historically black university also decided to let a handful of students set the graduation ceremony agenda.

Xavier University in Louisiana canceled Thomas-Greenfield’s planned speech last week after pushback.

“The vast majority of students want to be able to enjoy a commencement ceremony free of disruptions,” President Reynold Verret announced, as reported by the Associated Press. “Therefore, we will not be moving forward with the commencement speaker as originally planned.”

“Verret called the cancellation a ‘regrettable conclusion’ and said the decision was made in partnership with the ambassador,” the AP reported.

Student government President Chase Patterson thanked the campus president for supporting cancelation, as reported by the AP.

While the universities did not want disruptions, there was a better way to handle it.

Instead of letting students issue a heckler’s veto, the administrators should have come to the ceremonies with prefilled expulsion and revocation of diploma forms.

Any student who disrupted the ceremony would automatically have their diploma revoked.

With that warning clearly in place, universities would find how “vocal” the “minority” really wants to be.

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IMAGE: UsMission.gov

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.