Columbia University has suspended the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) student groups after a protest on the New York City campus was deemed a “threatening” event.
Both organizations have been protesting in support of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
— Ch Ali (@medstudents12) November 10, 2023
At 2 pm today, students gathered on Low Steps as part of “Shut It Down! For Palestine,” a walkout and protest art installation organized by the group Columbia University Apartheid Divest. This is a developing story. pic.twitter.com/A7hmb5av3z
— Bwog (@bwog) November 9, 2023
The university cited an “unauthorized event on Thursday afternoon” that included “threatening rhetoric and intimidation.”
Gerald Rosberg, the senior executive vice president of the university and chair of its special committee on campus safety, issued a statement announcing the decision on Friday.
“Columbia University is suspending Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) as official student groups through the end of the fall term,” the statement began. “This decision was made after the two groups repeatedly violated University policies related to holding campus events, culminating in an unauthorized event Thursday afternoon that proceeded despite warnings and included threatening rhetoric and intimidation.”
The suspension means that the two groups will not be eligible for university funding or be able to hold events on campus.
Rosberg said that lifting the suspension will be “contingent on the two groups demonstrating a commitment to compliance with University policies and engaging in consultations at a group leadership level with University officials.”
“Like all student groups, SJP and JVP are required to abide by University policies and procedures,” the statement continued. “This ensures both the safety of our community and that core University activities can be conducted without disruption. During this especially charged time on our campus, we are strongly committed to giving space to student groups to participate in debate, advocacy, and protest. This relies on community members abiding by the rules and cooperating with University administrators who have a duty to ensure the safety of everyone in our community.”
There have been ongoing protests calling for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Gaza on the school’s campus. This includes approximately 30 students walking out of a panel with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about “women’s involvement in peace processes.”
🪧About 30 students of the Columbia University have walked out during former US Secretary of State #HillaryClinton’s lecture as part of a planned protest of the school’s role in publicly shaming students as antisemites.
– The New York Times pic.twitter.com/gCBGR9HP2Y
— 𝗡 𝗢 𝗜 𝗦 𝗘 (@NoiseAlerts) November 2, 2023
The students who left the class joined several dozen other protesters in the lobby of the International Affairs building who were upset with the university for allegedly helping to publicly shame students who had signed a letter condemning Israel.
The letter in question had stated in part, “The weight of responsibility for the war and casualties undeniably lies with the Israeli extremist government.”
Last month, signatories of the letter’s names and faces were plastered on screen panels on a truck — along with the words, “Columbia’s Leading Antisemites.” There has since been a coordinated campaign to make them unemployable, and even have them kicked out of school.
The photographs that were used came from a “private and secure” online platform for students enrolled at the School of International and Public Affairs, according to a report from the New York Times, leading many to believe that the university was involved in the doxing.
Clinton was also shouted at by a protester while speaking at an event celebrating 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which also took place at Columbia University.
This “legend” ain’t buying Hillary Clinton’s bullshit😆😆 pic.twitter.com/qmddZdw69s
— • ᗰISᑕᕼIᗴᖴ ™ • (@4Mischief) October 23, 2023
“President Joe Biden’s calling for $100 billion of funding for Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine,” the protester said of Biden’s presidential address. “We’re supposed to just bundle these together and pretend like we’re gonna rush to World War III.”