The University of Vermont said the US ambassador would no longer give the commencement address

The University of Vermont said the US ambassador would no longer give the commencement address

The US ambassador to the United Nations will no longer deliver the commencement address at the University of Vermont, according to the school’s president.

“It is with regret that I share that our planned speaker, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, will not be joining us to deliver the Commencement address,” said President Suresh Garimella.

Several protesters on campus have asked the university to rescind its invitation to Thomas-Greenfield.

Garimella did not give a reason for the diplomat’s absence – but it was mentioned in a statement that focused on the demonstration.

“First, I want our students to know that I see and hear you. I see you mourning the lives lost in Israel and Gaza. I hear your call for peace and a just end to the current unrest in the region,” Garimella said.
“I hear your frustration with foreign policy decisions. I see your efforts to bring attention to your views and make your city and your university a safe place you can be proud of. Our community’s voices are as diverse and powerful as the issues are complex and weighty,” he added.
While Garimella said he was “thankful to the students and university leaders who engaged in the conversation,” he said the demonstration violated school policy.

“Those who continue to violate UVM policy do so intentionally despite having been given the opportunity to express themselves within campus rules,” Garimella said. “Therefore, unfortunately, appropriate student conduct processes have been initiated for those who persistently violate university policy.”

It is not clear what type of disciplinary action is being taken. CNN has reached out to the university for more information.

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