• May 19, 2024

Anti-Israel Protests Results in Suspensions and Expulsions Sparking More Protests

(Headline USA) College students and their universities are in a nationwide showdown over anti-Israel protests. In the past 10 days, hundreds of students have been arrested, suspended, put on probation and expelled from colleges including Yale University, the University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University and the University of Minnesota.

Barnard, a women’s liberal arts college at Columbia, suspended more than 50 students who were arrested April 18 and evicted them from campus housing, according to interviews with students and reporting from the Columbia Spectator campus newspaper, which obtained internal campus documents.

On Friday, Barnard announced it had reached agreements restoring campus access to “nearly all” of them. A statement from the college did not specify the number but said all students who had their suspensions lifted have agreed to follow college rules and, in some cases, were put on probation.

On the night of the arrests, however, Barnard student Maryam Iqbal posted a screenshot on the social media platform X of a dean’s email telling her she could briefly return to her room with campus security before getting kicked out.

“You will have 15 minutes to gather what you might need,” the email read.

Columbia’s response sparked even more protests last week as students demanded suspensions be lifted.

Columbia is still pushing to remove the tent encampment on the campus main lawn where graduation is set to be hosted May 15.

More than 40 students were arrested at a Yale demonstration last week.

Across the country, college administrators have struggled to balance free speech and anti-Semitic threats in the protests against Israel.

May commencement ceremonies add pressure to clear demonstrations. University officials say arrests and suspensions are a last resort, and that they give ample warnings beforehand to clear protest areas.

Vanderbilt University in Tennessee has issued what are believed to be the only student expulsions related to protesting Israel, according to the Institute for Middle Eastern Understanding. More than two dozen students occupied the university chancellor’s office for several hours on March 26, prompting the university to summon police and arrest several protesters. Vanderbilt then issued three expulsions, one suspension and put 22 protesters on probation.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press


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