Columbia University Temporarily Shuts Down Due To Protests

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: People walk on the Columbia University campus on March 9, 2020 in New York City. The university is canceling classes for two days after a faculty member was quarantined for exposure to the novel coronavirus. The remainder of the week would be taught remotely. (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)

OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
3:52 PM – Thursday, October 12, 2023

Columbia University, the famous private Ivy league school located in New York City, has made the decision to close its campus to the public due to two protests that have been planned by students.


On Thursday, the Ivy League university shut down its campus to the public ahead of two planned protests that were scheduled to take place in the near future.

One of the protests was reportedly orchestrated by “Students for Justice in Palestine” and the other protest was planned by “Students Supporting Israel.” 

The school has temporarily closed the campus due to major safety concerns, university officials announced.

An announcement was made informing the public about the campus closure on Columbia Preparedness, a website created to notify faculty, staff, and students at Columbia University about any safety concerns, emergencies, or key information that will affect the local community.

Access to the Manhattan campus has been restricted to only valid Columbia University ID carriers.

Entry was tight due to “substantial efforts” to enroll external supporters in a manner that produced an unsafe environment, according to interim provost Dennis Mitchell.

The statement reads: “Dear members of the Columbia community: As a follow up to the Provost’s email earlier today related to safety and free expression on campus, beginning at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow (October 12th) access to the Morningside campus will be open to valid Columbia University ID holders only. This condition is in place to help maintain safety and a sense of community through planned demonstration activities.


Faculty, students and staff should be aware that starting at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow (October 12th), you must bring your CUID and be prepared to present it to Public Safety at one of the following gates in order to access the Morningside campus: 

  • North and South Pedestrian Gates at 116th St. and Broadway
  • South Pedestrian Gate at 116th St. and Amsterdam
  • North Pedestrian Gate at 116th St. and Amsterdam (disability access only)
  • Wien Hall Pedestrian Gate (116th St. between Amsterdam and Morningside Drive)

All other campus gates will be closed.

Other important notes for tomorrow, October 12th:

  • Please remember to have your Columbia University ID with you. All faculty, students and staff will need it to enter Morningside campus.
  • Please allow extra time to enter campus.
  • Please consider rescheduling any on-campus academic or business meetings with non-affiliates.

On behalf of the university, thank you for your cooperation and understanding.”

Earlier on Thursday, it was announced to the public that a 19-year-old female Palestine advocate attacked a 24-year-old Israeli male student outside of Columbia University’s main library area on campus.

The violence happened when the victim approached the woman as she tore down flyers portraying the names and pictures of several Israelis kidnapped by Hamas.

The victim requested to be identified as “I.A.” in an interview with The Columbia Daily Spectator. He suffered minor injuries that involved a bruised hand and a broken ring finger.

“We were all kind of shocked that this stuff can happen on our own campus, which should be a safe haven,” I.A. said in the interview. “We don’t know how to handle the situation, let alone that our families and friends are going through the worst nightmare, and we are mentally in the same boat with them. And now, we have to handle the situation that campus is not a safe place for us anymore.”

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