Anti-Israel FSU students banned from commencement

Five total were arrested at Florida State University, including two current students who will not be participating in the school’s graduation ceremony.

One of the students said he violated school rules ‘[o]ut of solidarity with the protestors who were brutalized at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida — and around the country, but especially in Florida.’

Screenshot taken from Instagram of Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society.

Two Florida State University students will be prohibited from taking part in the school’s graduation ceremony following their arrests for an unlawful anti-Israel protest, according to WTXL. 

On April 30, five anti-Israel protesters, including two students, were arrested at FSU after starting an encampment to protest the Jewish State, despite such an action going against university regulations. 

As a disciplinary measure, the arrested protesters are banned from the campus for a year, which means the two students involved cannot participate in the commencement ceremony. 

The protest was advertised by the radical group Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). 

[RELATED: D.C. police clear George Washington University occupation, arrest at least 20]

On Jan. 26, FSU announced that the Tallahassee SDS was suspended “through May 15, 2025,” following its disruption of an FSU Board of Trustees meeting by chanting anti-Israel slogans. Commenting on the suspension, an FSU spokeswoman said that “students and student organizations may not disrupt university business, student learning or the normal operations of the university.”

Owen Girard, FSU’s Turning Point USA Chapter President, told Campus Reform: “The fact of the matter is that Florida is not run like New York and California. We don’t tolerate students who cause unnecessary chaos and commotion, ultimately disrupting the college experience for fellow students.”

He added that he believes FSU “gave plenty, if not too much, freedom and access for the pro-Palestinian demonstrators on campus.”

The Tallahassee SDS posted an Instagram video showing the students pitching tents at the campus on April 30 and then getting arrested, with the caption: “FSU STANDS WITH GENOCIDE, 5 PROTESTORS ARRESTED. CALL IN AND DONATE NOW!!!”

An FSU spokesperson told Campus Reform that the school’s “regulations had been explained repeatedly over several days and the group had been compliant until this afternoon. Today’s arrests occurred after the individuals ignored multiple requests and warnings to comply with a lawful order.”

FSU regulations state that “[t]ents or other temporary structures may be erected on University property by academic or administrative units only for activities directly related to the mission of the unit and only after first obtaining written approval of the Vice President for Finance and Administration or designee, who shall consider time period, space, traffic, and other safety and aesthetic factors.”

They also state that “[c]amping is prohibited on lands of the Florida State University campus except when such camping is in connection with an official activity of the University, such as an activity of an academic or administrative unit.”

[RELATED: Columbia cancels university-wide graduation ceremony following campus occupation]

One of the arrested students, Elijah Ruby, said the protesters knew they were violating FSU regulations, but continued with their actions “[o]ut of solidarity with the protestors who were brutalized at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida — and around the country, but especially in Florida.” 

Other Florida schools have also seen unrest. On April 29, police arrested nine unruly anti-Israel protesters at the University of Florida as well as three demonstrators at the University of South Florida, followed by ten more arrests at the latter university on the next day. 

Campus Reform reached out to all five arrested protesters for comment. This article will be updated accordingly. 

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