Hillary Clinton met by Wellesley College student protests during visit to alma mater

By Haley Clough 

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Students at Wellesley College responded to a visit by Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Wellesley alum. Clinton returned to campus to celebrate a new research facility named in her honor, the Hillary Rodham Clinton Center, and to moderate a panel at a democracy summit.

Student protesters were perturbed by Clinton’s avoidance towards calling a ceasefire in the Middle East and gathered around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday to show Clinton and the school’s administration their frustrations. The protesters donned traditional keffiyehs and masks to obscure their faces, and brandished signs and flags.

Protesters chanted “Hillary, Hillary, you’re a liar; we demand a cease-fire,” and other calls at the former secretary of state. One student was removed from the panel for shouting at Clinton, “accusing [her] of indifference to violence against Palestinians,” according to the New York TimesClinton was historically well-received at her alma mater of Wellesley College, but her statements regarding Israel and Palestine left some students feeling less than happy to welcome her back on campus.

During an interview on The View in November of 2023, Clinton said “I feel so personally committed to trying to figure out how to help the Israelis and the Palestinians live in peace,” but that her lack of support in calling a ceasefire is due to the fact that “there was a ceasefire on October 6th that Hamas broke,” and that “Israel has a right to defend itself.” As is the case with many colleges across the country, many students at Wellesley have taken a pro-Palestine stance that refutes Clinton’s perspective.  

The dean of students, Sheilah Shaw Horton, released a statement reminding the student body of protest policies at the college. “I encourage all who participate in activism to follow the demonstration policy and be mindful of our Code of Student Conduct so that you remain safe for yourself, and for our community,” her statement said.

The school also reminded students that failure to comply with demonstration policies could result in an honor code violation, leading to a suspension or alternative penalty.