Columbia Trying To Work With Protestors

New York City’s prestigious Columbia University is facing yet another crisis, this time coming from within. The Ivy League institution has been embroiled in a heated standoff with a group of anti-Israel protesters who have set up camp on the campus’ West Lawn.

The group, known as The Columbia Palestine Apartheid Divest (CPAD), has been protesting for weeks, calling for the university to divest from companies that do business with Israel. Their encampment has caused disruptions, including blocking entrances to the university and disrupting classes.

But now, after the university authorized police to clear the encampment, tensions are reaching a boiling point. University President Minouche Shafik has set a midnight deadline for an agreement with the protesters, which must include dismantling the camp and following university policies going forward.

“I also want to be clear that we will not tolerate intimidating, harassing, or discriminatory behavior,” Shafik wrote in her message Tuesday night. “We are working to identify protesters who violated our policies against discrimination and harassment, and they will be put through appropriate disciplinary processes.”

“The right to protest is essential and protected at Columbia, but harassment and discrimination is antithetical to our values and an affront to our commitment to be a community of mutual respect and kindness,” Shafik continued.

It’s a deadline that the group seems hesitant to meet, with one student demonstrator announcing a strike extension and claiming they would not negotiate without a written agreement that the police and National Guard would not be called in.

This is all happening while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has inserted herself into the situation, labeling the protesters’ actions as “peaceful” and condemning any police involvement as “reckless and dangerous.”

It’s truly a spectacle to see a left-wing group giving headaches to a left-wing institution. For years, Columbia University has been a bastion of progressive ideology, proudly touting its commitment to free speech and social justice.

But now, their own liberal policies have come back to bite them. The university’s commitment to “tolerance” and “diversity” is being tested as they struggle to handle a situation that is the making of their own left-wing policies.

It’s ironic, to say the least, that a group protesting against discrimination has been accused of engaging in discriminatory and harassing behavior towards their fellow students. It’s even more ironic that it’s a left-wing group demanding a left-wing institution to take their side in an issue that has caused much division among liberals.

Only time will tell if the midnight deadline will be met and if a resolution can be reached. But one thing is for sure, the irony of this situation is not lost on anyone except maybe the protesters themselves.