An Indian-American Columbia student Rakhi Agrawal came up with the idea to honour victims of sexual assault and sent out an email to graduating students asking them to put a red tape on their graduation caps to show solidarity for the survivors of sexual assault.
Indians and Indian-American students, along with several other graduates, wore the red tape during the convocation ceremony as a mark of respect.
Graduates from other prestigious US institutions like Harvard University and Brown University also chose to wear the red tapes during their graduation convocation to show their solidarity, Agarwal said.
Later, several students from these universities participated in a peaceful protest against the rise in sexual violence in India, especially in Uttar Pradesh.
They also remembered the 23-year-old victim of the brutal Delhi gangrape in 2012.
"Respect for a woman's dignity is respect for humanity. And that respect starts at home, spreads through communities, extends across university campuses to nations around the world," said Arnab De, a young Indian scientist who served as the student representative of the Public Safety Committee at Columbia.
"An assault on one woman is an attack on the entire human race. It is basically about respecting the rights of another human being," De told PTI.