“including measures to defund campus police and divest university endowments from fossil fuel companies and ICE”
The students are threatening to withhold their tuition of their demands are not met. Will anyone be surprised if Columbia caves to them?
The Nation reports:
We Want a More Democratic University—Until Then, We Won’t Pay
In an unprecedented mass action organized by the Columbia-Barnard Young Democratic Socialists of America, more than 2,500 students across Columbia institutions have committed to withholding their tuition if Columbia continues to ignore our demands, which advocate that students should be included in decisions over the university’s allocation of resources—not just as an educational institution, but as an employer and an international investor.
The movement at Columbia joins others across the country, most recently at the University of San Francisco and American University, that are employing the same tactics for the same ends, including measures to defund campus police and divest university endowments from fossil fuel companies and ICE.
In the spring, as Covid-19 overwhelmed the country, students nationwide launched tuition strikes to protest their institutions’ lack of resources, unchanged grading policies, and rising costs during the campus closures and economic downturn prompted by the pandemic. Now students are using tuition strikes to demand changes in their university’s allocation of resources and unfair practices largely, shifting their sights away from the temporary crisis of the pandemic and toward the many long-term, entrenched issues that they have been organizing around for decades now.
Columbia students have had a particularly difficult time negotiating with the administration. Ours was one of the schools that demanded a tuition reduction during the pandemic, with 8,500 students signing a petition. Unlike some of our peer institutions, Columbia refused.
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