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Columbia University Threatens to Expel Students Occupying Campus Building

Columbia University threatens to expel students (Credits: CNN)

Columbia University has issued a stern warning to student protesters occupying a campus building, threatening expulsion if they refuse to leave. The protesters, who are demonstrating against Israel’s actions in Gaza, took over Hamilton Hall on Tuesday, renaming it Hind’s Hall in honor of a six-year-old Palestinian girl killed in the conflict.

University spokesperson Ben Chang stated that students who continue to occupy the building will face expulsion, citing vandalism, property damage, and blockaded entrances.

This follows a warning issued on Monday, in which the university promised to suspend students who refused to clear the encampment and sign a document agreeing to follow university protest policies.

Columbia University (Credits: The New York Times)

The protesters, part of the CU Apartheid Divest coalition, have vowed to remain in the building until their demands, including divestment from Israel, are met.

However, the university has shown no signs of backing down, with Chang stating that the protesters have “chosen to escalate to an untenable situation” and that the university is “following through with the consequences we outlined yesterday.”

The police have stated that they will not intervene unless requested by the university or in the case of a genuine emergency. The standoff has added a new dimension to the pro-Palestinian protests that have been ongoing for two weeks, which have primarily involved outdoor encampments.

The situation has sparked a heated debate on campus, with some students expressing support for the protesters and others criticizing their tactics. The university administration has faced criticism for its handling of the situation, with some accusing it of being heavy-handed and dismissive of the protesters’ concerns.

Columbia University Protests (Credits: The Hill)

As the standoff continues, it remains to be seen how the situation will be resolved. The protesters have shown no signs of backing down, and the university has made it clear that it will not tolerate the occupation of the building indefinitely.

One thing is certain, however: the situation has brought attention to the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the need for a peaceful resolution.

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