Columbia Begins Suspending Student Protesters

Student protesters at Columbia University are being suspended by the college after weeks of dramatic protests on campus. The news comes as violent incidents and rhetoric have grown on other college classes, resulting in more than 100 arrests.

The college stated that students who refused to abide by orders to leave would be suspended.

“Students who agreed to leave and sign a form committing to abide by University policies will be allowed to complete the semester. Students who do not will be placed on suspension, ineligible to complete the semester or graduate and will be restricted from all academic, residential and recreational spaces,” said Columbia University vice president of communications Ben Chang.

“We have begun suspending students as part of this next phase of our efforts to ensure safety on our campus. Once disciplinary action is initiated, adjudication is handled by several different units within the University based on the nature of the offense,” Chang said.

The incidents occurred just days after the college said that it would not evict any students. The school gave the demonstrators until 2 p.m. Monday to start dismantling the tent city that occupied much of the central part of the campus.

The protests in Columbia picked up steam after the college cleared out a student occupation of an academic building. More than 100 students were arrested following the incident, including the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

In another incident, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was arrested for her role in on of the protests and was accused of attacking a police officer.

The demonstrations appear to be growing at other colleges. As the protests have ballooned in size, so have wider concerns about antisemitism. The White House issued a statement condemning antisemitism at the protests, including at Columbia.

White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates said that “calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly antisemitic, unconscionable and dangerous – they have absolutely no place on any college campus or anywhere in the United States of America.”

One photo from the Columbia protests showed a masked woman holding up a sign in front of pro-Israel protesters calling for Hamas to attack them.