Columbia Offers Remote Classes for the Last Days of the Semester

Columbia University will offer students the option of attending classes remotely for the last few days of the semester, a reflection of how days of tumult have unsettled the campus.

After the arrests of more than 100 student protesters last week, student activists were undeterred, setting up a large new encampment on the university’s lawn. Dozens of faculty members have criticized the decision to arrest students. And crowds of protesters, unaffiliated with the school, descended on Columbia, at times harassing Jewish students or shouting antisemitic comments outside the school gates.

“Safety is our highest priority,” the university’s provost, Angela V. Olinto, said in an email on Monday night, announcing the new hybrid classes.

The school’s decision means that the campus could seem relatively quiet during what is typically a bustling final week of the semester — save for the protesters. The last day of classes is April 29.

The tensions in Upper Manhattan have also reverberated to other academic institutions. Dozens were arrested on Monday at Yale and New York University after students there staged their own protests. And students on other campuses, including the University of Minnesota, the University of California, Berkeley, and Emerson College, have also erected protest encampments.

Many schools, watching the Columbia campus, have chosen other strategies to handle protests. A number of schools have closed off parts of campus to prevent similar disruptions, including Harvard, which closed the gates to Harvard Yard to the public.

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