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Unruly Graduation Guests Break Windows, Force Ceremony To End Abruptly

Disorder on college campuses has become common in recent weeks, but the scene was a bit different as Howard University graduates prepared to walk the stage.

Instead of the students, it was relatives gathered outside the venue who caused a near-riot, forcing administrators to shut down the ceremony early.

As the New York Post reported:

A graduation ceremony for nursing students at Howard University ended abruptly and in chaos after angry family members chanted “Let us in!” and pounded on the doors and smashed a window after being locked out when the auditorium hit capacity.

Loved ones of students in the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences packed into the Cramton Auditorium in Washington, DC, on Thursday, but not all relatives made it inside the building before the ceremony was abruptly canceled during the keynote address.

Chaotic video footage shows dozens of people standing outside the auditorium chanting “Let us in! Let us in!” as the ceremony began. Pictures showed a glass door had been shattered during the commotion as people banged on the doors and tried to push past security to go inside.

The scene fueled significant commentary on social media:

The university responded to the chaotic display, dutifully taking some of the blame while calling out those who acted inappropriately.

According to WJLA:

Inside the ceremony, the Dean of the Nursing School at one point said, “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.”

The ceremony was then canceled for the night.

However, a D.C. Fire & EMS spokesperson said on Friday that they did not shut the event down. They said they instead came to the scene because of a medical call. A witness told 7News someone had broken glass at Cramton Auditorium during the incident.

“At 6:42 p.m. we responded to the Cramton Auditorium for a medical call at the request of campus police. The patient was evaluated and refused transport and D.C. Fire and EMS departed,” wrote Noah Gray, the Chief Communications Officer for D.C. Fire and EMS.

Here’s some more news coverage of the scene:


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