Canada university student makes spitting gesture at teachers, others cheer her – India Today

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A graduating student of Canada’s McGill University made a spitting gesture towards professors at a convocation ceremony, with the crowd cheering her on.

A video of the incident which went viral on socia media shows the student making spitting motions at university officials on stage.

During the June 3 Arts graduation ceremony, the student, after her name was called, unfurled a sign that reads: “Divest from death.” She then directed what seem to be spitting motions at two officials on stage, including McGill president Deep Saini, as the crowd erupted in applause and cheers.


Notably, McGill campus has witnessed pro-Palestine protests recently, with agitating students urging to university to examine divestment from companies whose revenues largely come from weapons.


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The event was live-streamed by the university, though the published version of the video shows the student approaching the stage but omits the banner unveiling and the contentious motions. The official announcing the graduates pauses momentarily after the student passes, seemingly distracted by the off-screen actions.

In response to the incident, McGill University issued a statement to The Gazette, noting that officials “were focused on the ceremony itself, and therefore did not notice if the graduating student spat.” The statement continued, “It was, however, clear the student was yelling and highly disrespectful. The university remains firmly committed to peaceful and respectful dialogue, even on the most divisive and painful issues.”

When asked about possible disciplinary measures, the university stated it “cannot comment on individual disciplinary processes or actions for students or employees to respect privacy.” However, it emphasised, “When McGill’s Code of Student Conduct, other policies, or especially the law is breached, we do act”.

Published By:

Sahil Sinha

Published On:

Jun 8, 2024

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