Columbia drops investigation of student protesters
Columbia University has dropped its investigation into the 16 students who disrupted a Tommy Robinson speech and ultimately prevented him from delivering his remarks.
As Campus Reform reported October 10, student protesters attempted to block the entrances to the College Republicans events, later storming inside to ensure that the event could not proceed.
"The University is taking the side of these hateful people, allowing for...a hostile educational environment."
Robinson, who Skyped in for the appearance, eventually had to call a delay as protesters proceeding to storm the stage, ultimately leaving only enough time for a question-and-answer portion.
According to The Columbia Spectator, the school had temporarily banned the student protesters from attending future College Republicans events, though only for the duration of the now-dropped investigation.
Inside Higher Ed reports that the investigation into whether or not the students violated their school’s Rules of University Conduct has been dropped as of Wednesday, less than a month after the initial incident occurred.
“I look forward to getting back to my studies and my teaching,” said Jared Sacks, one student who participated in the protest, saying the investigation was “riddled with inconsistencies and an overstepping of authority by various people in the administration.”
The investigation’s close comes just three days after more than 100 university professors sent a letter to President Lee Bollinger, saying that university had been “using ‘free speech principles’ as an opportunity to prosecute students for their reasonable efforts to critically engage biased, exclusionary, and anti-democratic speakers brought to campus.”
“We also feel that the highest officials in the University have allowed this institution to be played by the enemies of critical inquiry,” the letter concluded. “In the name of free speech and neutrality, the University is taking the side of these hateful people, allowing for the creation of a hostile educational environment for Muslim students, LGBT students, Jewish students, and students of color.”
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