'NEW LOW': Out-of-control Columbia protests trigger bipartisan Congressional backlash

‘While the rot is systemic, the responsibility rests squarely on your shoulders,’ Republican GOP members wrote to Columbia’s president.

A Democrat Representative has also condemned the protests, calling them a ‘new low.’

Screenshot taken from X account of Libs of TikTok.

Columbia University and its students are facing criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for out of control anti-Israel campus protests, with some calling on the Ivy League school’s president, Minouche Shafik, to resign.  

letter published Monday that was led by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and joined by other New York Republican Representatives has called on Shafik to step down from her role, stating: “Despite implementing new rules to stop such unauthorized events and this illegal, antisemitic encampment clearly violating these rules, it was nearly two days before the New York Police Department (NYPD) was authorized to clear the encampment. Since then, the encampment has shockingly been allowed to reconvene, order has not been restored, and NYPD has not been allowed to return.”  

[RELATED: Harvard Yard partially closed as anti-Israel protests rock Ivys]

“The ongoing situation that has unfolded is a direct symptom of your continued lax enforcement of policy and clear double standards. Your failure to enforce the rules on campus has created an environment in which students and outside agitators know they are able to operate with impunity and without any accountability. While the rot is systemic, the responsibility rests squarely on your shoulders,” the letter continued.  

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, also wrote a letter to Shafik on Sunday, stating: “The encampment and related activities have created a severe and pervasive hostile environment for Jewish students at Columbia. A Jewish chaplain at the University has recommended Jewish students depart campus due to the University’s inability to guarantee their safety.” 

“Columbia’s continued failure to restore order and safety promptly to campus constitutes a major breach of the University’s Title VI obligations, upon which federal financial assistance is contingent, and which must immediately be rectified,” the letter continues. 

Rep. Foxx’s letter lists multiple instances of alleged anti-Semitic violence and expression that took place during the protest, and continued: “The students, faculty, and staff responsible for this mayhem . . . repeatedly and flagrantly have violated multiple University rules, and in many cases, federal law. The University must decisively hold them accountable in a manner commensurate with the severity of their offenses, including expulsion and termination of employment.” 

The criticism came from both sides of the aisle, as Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and several other Jewish Democrat Representatives went to the Ivy League’s campus and spoke to members of the press, with Rep. Gottheimer saying the anti-Israel demonstrations mark a “new low.”

[RELATED: Anti-Israel campus protests at Columbia and Yale are ‘antithetical’ to American values: Rabbi Moshe Hauer]

The Columbia anti-Israel protests are continuing, with certain protesters expressing support for Hamas, as Libs of TikTok posted on X.  

Campus Reform has reached out to Reps. Foxx, Stefanik, and Gottheimer for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.