Columbia Encampment
Columbia EncampmentReuters/Adem Wijewickrema/TheNews2/Cover Images

Columbia University President Nemat Shafik has called for decisive action to dismantle the anti-Israel encampment that has been set up on the Manhattan campus by pro-Palestinian protesters.

The University set a midnight deadline for student organizers and Ivy League representatives to reach an agreement and Shafik emphasized the necessity of addressing safety concerns and restoring campus tranquility.

She underscored the disruption caused by the encampment, and mentioned, “The serious safety concerns, disruption to campus life, and tense and hostile environment on campus.” “It is essential,” Shafik wrote, “that we move forward with a plan to dismantle it.”

Over the past few days, negotiations have been held to discuss the basis for dismantling the encampment and ensuring compliance with university policies.

"I very much hope these discussions are successful," Shafik added, noting the midnight deadline. If not successful, she said that the university would have to consider alternative options for clearing the encampment, so that they can restore calm and enable students to complete the term and graduate."

Shafik also emphasized that anyone who violated university policies against discrimination and harassment would be subject to appropriate disciplinary measures. She stated that, “Intimidating, harassing, or discriminatory behavior would not be tolerated.”

Shafik stated firmly that, "The right to protest is essential and protected at Columbia, but harassment and discrimination are antithetical to our values and an affront to our commitment to be a community of mutual respect and kindness."