Stefanik Leads New York GOP Delegation In Demanding Resignation Of Columbia University’s President
Representative Elise Stefanik, a Republican from New York, during a news conference in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, March 6, 2024.
(Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

House Republicans from New York on Monday demanded that the president of Columbia University, the Ivy League school in New York City where pro-Palestinian protests have led to safety concerns for Jewish students, step down from her position.

The New York delegation, led by House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), sent a letter to Columbia President Minouche Shafik seeking her resignation after the university moved to remote learning on the day Passover is set to begin.

“Over the past few days, anarchy has engulfed the campus of Columbia University,” the lawmakers wrote. “As the leader of this institution, one of your chief objectives, morally and under law, is to ensure students have a safe learning environment. By every measure, you have failed this obligation.”

“The situation unfolding on campus right now is a direct product of your policies and misguided decisions,” they added. “As Representatives from the State of New York, many of our constituents are directly impacted by the unfolding chaos on Columbia’s campus. Based on these recent events and your testimony in front of Congress, we have no confidence in your leadership of this once esteemed institution.”

Students have erected tents on a central campus lawn at Columbia and insisted they would not leave until the university divests from companies that have ties to Israel, according to The New York Times. Although police arrested more than 100 students for refusing to leave and participants have been subject to suspension, the protest activity has persisted for nearly a week now.

Last week, during testimony before the House, Shafik testified that anti-Semitism has “no place on our campus” and was “personally committed to doing everything I can to confront it directly.” Shafik later told police all university students participating in the encampment had been informed they were suspended as they were not authorized to be on university property and were trespassing.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, sent a letter to Shafik on Sunday calling for expulsions, noting that the encampment and related activities have resulted in”widespread antisemitic harassment and intimidation, assaults, frequent celebration of terrorism, and major disruptions of Columbia’s learning environment.”

Students, faculty, and staff “responsible for this mayhem “repeatedly and flagrantly have violated multiple University rules, and in many cases, federal law,” Foxx said. “The University must decisively hold them accountable in a manner commensurate with the severity of their offenses, including expulsion and termination of employment.”

The New York GOP delegation told Shafik that the “ongoing situation that has unfolded is a direct symptom of your continued lax enforcement of policy and clear double standards.” They claimed that Shafik’s testimony rang “hollow,” as evidenced by a “cover-up of the lack of punishment for pro-terror” Columbia University professor Joseph Massad, who used the word “awesome” to describe Hamas’s deadly terrorist attacks on Israel last October.

“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,” the letter said.


They continued, “While the rot is systemic, the responsibility rests squarely on your shoulders. It is time for Columbia University to turn the page on this shameful chapter. This can only be done through the restoration of order and your prompt resignation.”

Other lawmakers who signed the letter included Reps. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Nicholas Langworthy (R-NY), Michael Lawler (R-NY), Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), Nick Lakota (R-NY), Brandon Williams (R-NY), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), and Marcus Molinaro (R-NY).

Jewish House Democrats, including Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY), showed up on Columbia University’s campus on Monday — where a pro-Israel professor was denied entry while making his way to lead a sit-in at the site where pro-Palestinian demonstrators have set up camp.

“I should be with my family today for Passover. Instead, I’m here at [Columbia University] standing with Jewish students who are being harassed on their campus,” another participant, Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), said on X. “To the Columbia President, DO NOT make the same choice as the Presidents of UPenn and Harvard. Protect your students,” he added, alluding to other university presidents who stepped down amid controversy.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Stefanik Leads New York GOP Delegation In Demanding Resignation Of Columbia University’s President