Campus protests: Columbia University faculty vote no confidence in president

by ian

Out of Columbia University, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences passed a vote of no confidence in the institution’s president Minouche Shafik on Thursday.

The resolution specifically condemns Shafik for her “violation of the fundamental requirements of academic freedom and shared governance, and her unprecedented assault on students’ rights.”

The resolution clarifies that Shafik brought in the New York City police to arrest protesting students without support from the school’s Senate Executive Committee. It also claims that these students were “peaceful” in their protests and that Shafik’s claim that the students were a threat “to the substantial functioning of the University” was unfounded.

The resolution also decries testimony Shafik gave before the U.S. House of Representatives, where she promised to fire faculty over antisemitic behavior.

Over on the West Coast, things aren’t looking much calmer. In California, Sonoma State University president Ming Tung Lee was recently placed on leave for an email that suggested he would concede to the anti-Israel protesters.

Screenshots unveiled by the school’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter show that Lee was willing to divest from Israel and support a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, among a few other concessions.

Lee wrote in an apology email afterward that he regrets “the harm” that his statements have caused in attempting “to find agreement” with this group of students. Lee also claimed his concession announcement was sent without the approval of certain officials.

Up north in Seattle, the University of Washington is preparing to move against its group of protesting students. The University’s president, Ana Mari Cauce, has called for the group to voluntarily disband upon the discovery of antisemitic graffiti across campus.

The university says the graffiti has emboldened them to insist the encampment be torn down, but they are in conversation with the protesters as well.

Finally, in Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan has become the latest site of intimidation. This week, dozens of masked students took their protests to the private residences of some members of the university’s board of regents.

Photos and reports from these members show students placing tents and fake corpses in the yards, marching and chanting, and repeatedly making demands that included things like divesting from support for Israel and even defunding the police.