IU Bloomington addresses changes to spring commencement



BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (IUSTV News) — In an email Tuesday, IU Bloomington confirmed that they will be holding this Saturday’s commencement ceremony as planned. This comes as many universities across the country are canceling graduation ceremonies due to safety concerns from pro-Palestian and divestment encampments.

IUB said that they are implementing additional safety measures for the event, adding that the university “respects the free sharing of ideas and viewpoints, and it is our duty to uphold the right to peaceful protest under the First Amendment.”

There will be a designated area outside the venue for protests, with venue staffers giving out warnings and requests for respect to people inside Memorial Stadium disrupting the event.

Standard safety measures for major IU events still apply, such as metal detectors and bag inspections. Guests must abide by the clear bag policy. Backpacks, banners, placards, flags, noise makers, weapons, packages, and outside food and beverage will not be allowed.

This decision comes as the IU Divestment Coalition’s encampment goes on day six in Dunn Meadow. The group said the encampment will not end until their demands of IU divesting from Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division and following BDS are met.

Read the full email below:

Dear graduates and families, 

We’re excited to celebrate the Class of 2024 during Commencement. We’re immensely proud of our graduates and the positive impact they have on our campuses and world. 

To ensure our graduates can mark this significant moment in a way that reflects all their outstanding achievements, we’re implementing additional safety measures for a successful celebration. IU respects the free sharing of ideas and viewpoints, and it is our duty to uphold the right to peaceful protest under the First Amendment. Therefore, our ceremonies will have a designated area for protests outside the venue, and inside the venue staffers will respond to disruptions, beginning with warnings and requests to respect the importance of the celebrations for our graduates and their families. 

We are committed to providing a meaningful Commencement ceremony worthy of our graduates’ accomplishments. 

The safety of graduates and guests is our top priority. As with all major IU events, guests will walk through metal detectors upon arrival and all bags will be subject to inspection. Guests are permitted to bring clear bags that are approximately the size of a one-gallon freezer bag or small clutch approximately the size of a hand. Prohibited items include backpacks, banners, placards, flags, noise makers, weapons, packages and outside food and beverage. 

Please share this message with guests you’ve invited to attend Commencement. 

We can’t wait to come together and celebrate the hard work that led our graduates to this remarkable moment.