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Video captures chaos at Howard U nursing graduation ceremony after venue reaches max capacity

The auditorium was too small for the number of supporters gathered for graduates of the historically black university in Washington, D.C., and one person was injured in the chaos, which was captured on video.

Howard University’s School of Nursing and School of Allied Health Sciences honors and awards ceremony was held Thursday in Cramton Auditorium on the campus. No tickets are required for the event, according to the school’s website, and the space can “accommodate an estimated 3-4 attendees per graduate” and guests will be seated on a “first come, first served” basis. That’s what it means.

Video posted on social media showed family and friends of graduates shouting “let us in” in the building’s foyer before the ceremony came to an abrupt end.

“During the ceremony, a visitor who was unable to enter the facility, which was at capacity, leaned against the front door and unintentionally applied pressure to the glass, causing it to break,” the statement read. fox 5dc To read. “This incident caused a disturbance among the guests and the program that was being held at the venue was interrupted. Following this incident, the guests present were immediately dispersed.”

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Videos shared on social media show the graduates’ loved ones gathered at the front door, recording themselves and shouting “let me in!” (Destiny Myers)

Officials told FOX 5 emergency medical services personnel rescued a person with minor injuries.

At least one of Thursday’s graduates told NBC4 Washington that he was unable to walk during his 2020 high school graduation ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to walk after graduating with honors from Howard University. He said he was unable to do so.

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2024 Howard University Nursing Graduation Ceremony

At Howard University’s Nursing Graduation Ceremony, people can be seen trying to support their loved ones as they graduate. (@Accelway Rider)

A D.C. Fire Department spokesperson told WJLA-TV on Friday that the department did not cancel the event. A statement from the university cited by the station said “capacity limits will be in place at all venues” and guests were invited to join Saturday’s Alumni Convocation via livestream.

“Overcrowding in Cramton Auditorium significantly impacted the guest experience,” a statement to WJLA said. “To correct this, we will formally recognize graduates of the College of Nursing and the College of Allied Health Sciences tomorrow, May 11, after graduation ceremonies at Capital One Arena.”

Cramton Auditorium Broken Door

Broken glass from a door is seen at the entrance of Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium on May 9, 2024. (@Accelway Rider)

Graduates of the College of Engineering and Architecture had a similar experience during a ceremony scheduled for Friday in Cramton Auditorium. WJLA reported that the graduation ceremony was not canceled, but that people were left out in the rain.


A spokesperson for Howard University told WJLA that capacity issues at each university’s graduation ceremony have not been an issue in the past, but the school’s graduating class is the largest in its history, with more students not graduating from high school. He said this year was special because it drew a bigger crowd. 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.