May 1, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Columbia goes remote after campus arrests

Teachers protest outside of Columbia University on May 1. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

Columbia is making all classes and final exams remote due to concerns over "an evolving campus environment," the university said in letter on Wednesday.

The big picture: The shift in the final days of the semester comes after more than 100 pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested at the university on Tuesday in the biggest escalation yet of the Ivy League school's response to demonstrations over the Israel-Hamas war.

Zoom in: All academic activities on the Morningside Heights campus, including classes, review sessions, office hours and final exams, will be fully remote for the remainder of the semester, with some exceptions, per the letter.

Yes, but: The university still plans to host its in-person commencement on May 15, the university president said in a statement earlier Wednesday.

What they're saying: "Given the evolving campus situation, we are working hard to provide support and accommodation to our students, particularly those who are in residence on our Morningside campus," the letter states.

  • "Again, the safety of our community is our highest priority as we strive to support our students' learning and all the required academic operations," it continues.
  • Addressing faculty, the letter from University Provost Angela Olinto said: "This is a challenging time for all of us committed to our central mission of teaching and research," but accommodating students will benefit them "in these difficult times as they strive to finish the semester achieving their full potential."

Go deeper: Hundreds of protesters arrested at college campuses across the U.S.

Go deeper