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May 29, 2024

Columbia Students Who Were Arrested Face Uncertain Consequences

Columbia Students Who Were Arrested Face Uncertain Consequences

New York|Columbia Students Arrested Over Campus Rally May Face Other Consequences




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Students who camped in tents to protest the war in Gaza, including the daughter of Representative Ilhan Omar, may be barred from finishing the semester.

Isra Hirsi is a Barnard College junior and the daughter of Representative Ilhan Omar. She was arrested after participating in a pro-Palestinian protest on Columbia’s campus this week.Credit…Bing Guan for The New York Times

Many of the more than 100 Columbia University and Barnard College students who were arrested after refusing to leave a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus on Thursday woke up to a chilly new reality this week: Columbia said that their IDs would soon stop working, and some of them would not be able to finish the semester.

The students who were arrested were released with summonses. The university said all of the 100 or so students involved in the protest had been informed that they were suspended.

For some of those students, that means they must vacate their student housing, with just weeks before the semester ends.

Yet whatever the consequences, several of the students said in interviews that they were determined to keep protesting Israel’s ongoing war in Gaza.

They said that after being loaded onto buses with their hands tied, they had sung all the way to police headquarters. Many expressed a renewed belief in their cause, and were glad that the eyes of the nation were on Columbia and Barnard, its sister college.

The protests, the arrests and the subsequent disciplinary action came a day after the congressional testimony this week of Columbia’s president, Nemat Shafik, at a hearing about antisemitism on campus. Columbia has said there have been a number of antisemitic episodes, including one attack, and many Jewish students have seen the protests as antisemitic.

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