‘Let Us In!’: Chaos ensues after a Howard University graduation cancelled

Photo: Getty Images

A Howard University graduation ceremony was shut down after the venue reached capacity, sparking chaos among students and their family members.

On Thursday (May 9), the graduation ceremony for Howard University’s College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences abruptly ended before the keynote address after the Cramton Auditorium in Washington D.C. reached capacity, per NBC Washington.

Video shows family members of graduates yelling “Let us in” while pounding on the doors as the ceremony began. One of the doors appeared to be shattered as loved ones attempted to push past security.

D.C. officials said at least one person was hurt in the incident. The victim was reportedly a student who was treated for a cut.

In an announcement, Dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences Gina Brown claimed the fire department shut down the ceremony.

“Because of the size of the room and because our relatives sometimes do not know how to act, the fire department is now here to shut us down,” Brown said.

However, the D.C. fire department denied the allegation.

“D.C. Fire and EMS did not shut down tonight’s event… At 6:42 p.m., we responded to the Cramton Auditorium for a medical local at the request of campus police,” the department said in a statement. “The patient was evaluated and refused transport, and D.C. Fire and EMS departed.”

The HBCU later said in a statement that an individual removed from the building pre-ceremony came back and broke a window.

“This incident led to a disturbance among guests outside of the facility, resulting in a disruption of the program,” the statement read. “Guests in attendance were immediately dispersed following this incident.”

Howard University graduate Halle Ragoonanan said she was disappointed that she couldn’t receive her diploma in front of her family after missing her high school graduation due to the pandemic.

“I didn’t get to walk. I graduated magna cum laude and I didn’t even get to walk,” Ragoonanan told NBC Washington. “I’m the class of 2020. I didn’t get to walk for my high school graduation and I didn’t get to walk for my college graduation.”

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