Other students said they thought the decision was not a rejection of support for Palestinian students but rather a matter of having a standard policy.
Guang He, a student in the MPA-International Development program, said that while he supported Palestinian statehood, he thought the school had made the correct choice in excluding the flag.
“The action [would] destroy the present policy of KSG, which may lead to many, many requests for raising all kinds of flags,” he wrote in an e-mail.
Pedro Cerdan, an MPA-International Development student, said that because “Israel was created artificially” he supported the inclusion of a Palestinian flag in the procession.
But Cerdan, who carried the Spanish flag at the Sept. 19 ceremonies, said that if a student representing a Spanish opposition group like the Basque nationalists had wanted to carry that flag, he would oppose it.
Stephen E. Boucher, an MC/MPA student who signed the petition, said he recognized the “danger of getting into that kind of debate as to what is a country.”
But Boucher said that in general, “if a student is considered [by the KSG] as from a certain country, that should be recognized.”
Boucher and Kassissieh added that although the U.S. government does not recognize a Palestinian nation, it has included the flag at various diplomatic events.
“So if there is a strong request from a particular body of students, I think we could show the same level of flexibility,” Boucher said.
According to the petition, the U.N. and 124 other nations recognize Palestine.
Rogers said that the students who organized the petition would wait for a response from McCarthy and Nye before taking further action.
–Staff writer Elisabeth S. Theodore can be reached at email@example.com.