CHICAGO – As the University of Chicago prepares to host graduation ceremonies Friday, various media outlets are reporting that four students who otherwise expected to graduate will have their diplomas withheld while the University investigates complaints about these students’ participation in protests demanding that the University divest from investments in Israel. The University ultimately authorized Chicago police officers to remove the tents that made up the encampment and disperse the students.

In response to these reports, the ACLU of Illinois issued the following statement:

Graduation is a moment of celebration and preparation for the future, whether one is seeking a job, starting new employment or pursuing an advanced degree. We encourage the University to move swiftly to conclude any investigation related to student protests so that the students under investigation are not unnecessarily delayed from taking the next step in their lives. Unless some real evidence of serious misbehavior emerges quickly, the students should receive their degrees. Allowing unproven complaints to lead to such serious and potentially life-altering consequences – before the students can even learn the nature of the complaints – encourages weaponization of the disciplinary process based on political or philosophical disagreement. We hope the University will act expeditiously to resolve these complaints.