64 arrested at UC San Diego, Ole Miss launches investigation into racist video: All the updates you need to know about college campus protests

Columbia also announced it would be canceling its commencement ceremony due to safety concerns.

A makeshift fortification surrounds a pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Chicago campus.
A pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of Chicago early Monday. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

College campus protests continued over the weekend and into Monday. More than 2,400 people have been arrested as demonstrators continue their demands that schools cut financial ties with companies that are contributing to Israel’s war in Gaza.

  • 64 demonstrators have been arrested at the University of California, San Diego as police cleared out a protest encampment. Of those arrested, 24 people were reportedly not affiliated with the university.

  • Columbia University on Monday canceled its main commencement ceremony, planned for May 15, due to safety concerns. The school will still host “smaller-scale, school-based” graduation ceremonies.

  • The University of Mississippi launched at least one student conduct investigation after a video of a student making racist gestures at a Black pro-Palestinian demonstrator went viral.

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement on Sunday vowing that demands made by the demonstrators at the University of Texas at Austin will “NEVER happen.”

  • Some students at Princeton University who are part of a “Gaza solidarity encampment” announced a hunger strike, aiming to get the university to discuss their protest demands.

  • The protests have gone more global, with schools in the U.K., Mexico, Belgium, France and the Netherlands forming “solidarity encampments.”

Columbia joined the University of Southern California in canceling its general commencement ceremony following the growing campus protests across the country.

On Saturday, the University of Michigan’s main commencement ceremony was interrupted by pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

Emory University announced on Monday that it would move its May 13 commencement off campus due to safety and security concerns. In a letter, Emory President Gregory Fenves said that he wants to stay “firm” in his “commitment that Emory will celebrate our graduating students at Commencement.”

On Thursday, a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators at the University of Mississippi became surrounded by a larger group of counterprotesters. The situation became tense enough that the pro-Palestinian demonstrators had to be escorted into a building by police.

Videos of the confrontation showed the counterprotesters — mostly young white men — singing songs like “The Star-Spangled Banner” to drown out chants. One video showed a young white man making racist comments and gestures at a Black female pro-Palestinian demonstrator, who was also filming the confrontation on her phone.

On Friday, University of Mississippi Chancellor Glenn Boyce sent out a statement to students and staff that the school was aware of the “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable” behavior displayed in some of the videos.

“While student privacy laws prohibit us from commenting on any specific student, we have opened one student conduct investigation,” Boyce wrote. “We are working to determine whether more cases are warranted.”

The video garnered support from some Republican legislators, however. Rep. Mike Collins of Georgia and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves both shared the video on X in affirmation of the behavior, writing, “Ole Miss taking care of business” and “Warms my heart,” respectively.

The fraternity Phi Delta Theta stated on Sunday that it was aware of the video and that it had removed “the responsible individual” from the fraternity, saying, “The racist actions in the video were those of an individual and are antithetical to the values of Phi Delta Theta.”

Demonstrators at UT Austin have called for the school to divest itself from companies manufacturing weapons for the Israel Defense Forces and demanded university president Jay Hartzell resign. A group of roughly 300 people gathered on campus Sunday for a demonstration, which ended peacefully and with no arrests — a contrast to the April 29 protest during which police officers pepper-sprayed the crowds.

In response to the demands, the governor tweeted on Sunday, “The only thing that will happen is the University and the State will use all law-enforcement tools to quickly terminate illegal protests.”

Read Yahoo News’ coverage of the University of Texas at Austin protests here.

Members of the student group Princeton Israeli Apartheid Divest launched a hunger strike on Sunday, saying they will not eat or drink — except for water — until their demands are met. Demands include the university disclosing all of its investments, divesting from companies that “profit or engage” with Israel and committing to a “full academic and cultural boycott of Israel.”

The Daily Princetonian reported that at least 17 undergraduate students are involved in the hunger strike.

Michael Hotchkiss, an assistant vice president for communications at Princeton, told CNN that physicians are watching the group of student protesters who launched the hunger strike.

“Dr. Melissa Marks, director of medical services at University Health Services, visited the group on Friday and Sunday to offer health information and ongoing medical support. She has also spoken with one of the outside physicians who are monitoring the group,” Hotchkiss wrote.