UCLA commencement ceremony held with no drama amid protest concerns, tension in Gaza

Graduation ceremonies at UCLA have took place without any major disruptions or protests.

Graduates wore caps and gowns Friday while some also wore pro-Palestinian keffiyehs or Israeli flags.

"We’re going to stay strong," said Daniella Kohan wearing an Israeli flag. "We’re going to show everybody that we’re still here. We’re not going to hide."

"People that have nothing to do with Palestine are representing the colors, the flag, which is great," said Arije Abuhasan, wearing a keffiyeh.

Pro-Palestinian protests have recently dominated UCLA’s campus. Just this week, 27 people were arrested at a demonstration while more than 200 have been taken into custody over the last several weeks.

"The school has failed us in so many ways," said Feven Kahsay, a graduate. "It’s upsetting."

"A few of my friends were arrested in the riots," said Walter Ramirez, a graduate. "It definitely gives me something to look back on."


Speakers at commencement Friday mentioned the recent tensions on campus, including keynote speaker and actor Sean Astin.

"There has been anti-Palestinian and antisemitic [moments]," said Astin. "This UC system and the UCLA administration, has been too far out of touch from our students."

As of Friday evening, there haven’t been any noticeable pro-Palestinian protests or disruptions on campus. University police can be seen on patrol just in case.

"I was like, for sure they ‘re going to disrupt [today’s graduation] because they find every situation they can unfortunately," said Kohan. "I’m so happy that didn’t happen."

"I would like to see some kind of protest at graduation, because there’s no neutral in the face of a genocide," said Annie Day.