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Columbia University’s President Imposes Deadline on Student Protesters

Columbia University’s president set a midnight deadline for student protesters to resolve the encampment issue. By Thursday morning, some progress had been made, but the encampment remained largely intact.

A spokesperson for Columbia University reported that protesters had committed to dismantling and removing a significant number of tents from the campus, part of their demonstration against Israel’s actions in Gaza. Additionally, protesters agreed to restrict participation to Columbia students only, ensuring that non-affiliated individuals leave the premises.

Further steps were taken to promote inclusivity within the encampment, including measures to prevent discriminatory or harassing language. Concerns had arisen regarding reports of aggressive behavior and anti-Semitic incidents surrounding the ongoing protests.

University officials also indicated ongoing discussions with protest organizers over the next 48 hours.

“Our demands are clear,” said Mahmoud Khalil, a Columbia student negotiator. The demonstrators are calling for the university to divest from any companies profiting from the war.

“The protest is against university rules, and we are taking steps to resolve it,” stated Ben Chang, Vice President for Communication at Columbia University.

Later on Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker Mike Johnson will be at Columbia to hold a news conference addressing what he views as a troubling increase in anti-Semitism on college campuses nationwide.

Columbia University continues to offer virtual classes for the remainder of the semester as an option for students.

“I think the university has ultimately failed. Offering hybrid classes is helpful for students, but it’s essentially admitting that they cannot or will not protect us,” remarked Columbia freshman Noah Lederman.

Last week, over 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators who had set up camp on Columbia’s green were arrested. Similar encampments have emerged at universities nationwide as schools grapple with balancing free expression with maintaining safe and inclusive campuses.

“It gives me so much hope that students are standing up for what they believe in. Throughout history, students have always been on the right side of history,” remarked Edwina Dahar, a senior.

Columbia officials emphasize that the safety of their community remains their top priority.


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