Cambridge University graduation moved to ‘undisclosed location’ over pro-Palestine encampment

Despite students withdrawing the encampment from Senate House, the ceremony was still moved

Student graduations due to be held at the University of Cambridge’s Senate House today were moved due to the pro-Palestine encampment currently on campus.

Two days ago saw the encampment that has been in place outside King’s College for nearly two weeks expand to the lawn outside Senate House.

Despite the fact that students withdrew the encampment from outside Senate House yesterday after the university agreed to negotiate, graduation ceremonies that were due to be held in the building today were still moved to an “undisclosed location”.

Students initially set up an encampment to protest against the war in Gaza on Monday 6th May in central Cambridge, outside King’s College.

On Wednesday 15th May more tents were pitched outside Senate House, a central administration building adjacent to King’s used for graduation ceremonies. For 2024, the ceremonies are scheduled for today and tomorrow at 10am.

Yesterday, students removed their expanded encampment from Senate House, as the university met the protestors’ pre-requisites. A victory rally was held outside Senate House at 9pm yesterday to celebrate the university meeting protestors’ negotiation preconditions.

The rally was followed by a visit to the encampment by Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot (Image credit: Leah Whiting)

As reported by the Standard, the university released a statement yesterday, sharing that they will move the ceremony to an undisclosed “alternative location”. This has not been published and posting recordings to social media is prohibited.

The ceremony today went ahead in the new, unknown location.

Students were seen this morning wearing gowns with family on their way to graduate despite the disruption.

Protestors had specified prerequisites to the university entering negotiations with them, which was the primary goal of the protest. The protestors stated that disrupting graduation ceremonies was only a “last resort” if the university did not fulfil their demands.

The encampment has followed various other action across the university and Cambridge as a whole regarding the war in Palestine. Students have previously walked out of lectures and wrote letters to the university.