Howard graduation shut down mid-ceremony when family members try to force way into filled arena

The latest commencement cancelation had nothing to do with Hamas sympathizers when a dean named a scapegoat DURING the ceremony.

(Video: NBC4)

Across the country, a mixture of unwillingness and ineptitude allowed anti-Israel disruptors to run roughshod over campus policies leading to some from the COVID class of 2020 to risk missing out on their undergraduate ceremony on top of canceled high school events.

Before it was made clear that the ceremony for Howard University’s College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences would find accommodations at Saturday’s main event, Dean Gina Brown was finding fault with family members as those who’d packed Cramtom Auditorium were told to leave.

“Because of the size of the room and because our relatives sometimes do not know how to act, the fire department is now here to shut us down,” claimed Brown Thursday after some who had been locked out of the non-ticketed, limited-space ceremony had been heard chanting, “Let us in! Let us in!”

Speaking with NBC4, one graduate explained, “While they were doing the keynote speaker, there was like, loud banging, even before that, for like 10 minutes straight. Just like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.”

Images from outside the auditorium showed how at least one of the glass doors that divided the cap and gown-clad honorees from family members who had not been permitted to enter had been shattered by one of the many left frustrated.

According to a later statement from Vice President Kamala Harris’ alma mater, “During the ceremony, a visitor who was not able to enter the facility, which had reached capacity, leaned on the front door, unintentionally applying pressure to a pane causing it to break.”

“This incident led to a disturbance among guests outside of the facility, resulting in a disruption of the program. Guests in attendance were immediately dispersed following this incident,” continued Howard’s statement.

Meanwhile, after taking the heat for the abrupt end mid-ceremony, D.C. Fire and EMS released their own statement clarifying their presence at the auditorium that had nothing to do with ending the celebration. “DC Fire and EMS did not shut down tonight’s event. At 6:42 p.m., we responded to the Cramton Auditorium for a medical local at the request of campus police. The patient was evaluated and refused transport, and D.C. Fire and EMS departed.”

Despite Thursday’s unfortunate incident that left many family members who’d traveled from afar unable to alter their plans to stay through Saturday’s second attempt at a ceremony, WJLA reported that Howard University repeated the same capacity flub Friday night for graduates of the College of Engineering and Architecture.

“We traveled so far to come here to stand in the rain, and can’t even get inside” said a father who was not permitted inside. “Now you’re going to stand here and say ‘oh, it’s full to capacity.’ That’s not right.”

Likewise, a mother who had started out on the road at 5:00 a.m. from Long Island, New York to drive to the nation’s capital for her daughter said, “It’s very upsetting. I’m a single parent, I worked very hard to put her through this school just to not be able to see her walk.”

Lydia Sermons, chief communications officer for Howard, told WJLA that capacity had never been an issue in years prior but because they had their largest graduating class ever and many had missed out on high school ceremonies, there were considerably more guests seeking to attend.

Kevin Haggerty

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