Stefanik, Other NY House Republicans Ask Columbia University’s President To Resign

House Republicans from New York are demanding the resignation of the president of Columbia University, where anti-Israel protests have risen, leading to serious safety concerns for Jewish students.

Led by House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the group of House Republicans sent a letter to Columbia University President Minouche Shafik asking her to resign due to a failure to curb the protests.

“Over the past few days, anarchy has engulfed the campus of Columbia University. 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 letter read.

“The situation unfolding on campus right now is a direct product of your policies and misguided decisions. 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,” the GOP representatives added.

According to the New York GOP delegation, the unrest in the university is a “direct symptom” of Shafik’s “continued lax enforcement of policy and clear double standards.”

“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 read.

“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,” it added.

The letter is co-signed by Reps. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Brandon Williams (R-NY), Claudia Tenney (R-NY), Marcus Molinaro (R-NY), Nicholas Langworthy (R-NY), Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY), Michael Lawler (R-NY) and Nick Lakota (R-NY).

The letter comes as the university was forced to move to remote learning on Monday due to safety issues caused by students who have erected tents on a central lawn at the school campus in protest of the Israel-Hamas war.

Despite over 100 of the students getting arrested by police, the protests have persisted for almost a week, with the students insisting they would not leave unless the university divests from companies with ties to Israel.

During a House hearing last week, Shafik testified before the House that anti-Semitism has “no place on our campus.” She said she was “personally committed to doing everything I can to confront it directly.”

The university president also told police that all students participating in the protests had been informed that they were suspended as they were trespassing in their encampment on university property.

However, there have been calls for tougher action from school administrators. A letter sent to Shafik by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chairwoman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, on Sunday, called for expulsions, as Foxx pointed out that the encampment and other protest activities have resulted in “widespread antisemitic harassment and intimidation, assaults, frequent celebration of terrorism, and major disruptions of Columbia’s learning environment.”

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

Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL) has also called for more definitive action from Shafik after he was at the university campus on Monday.

“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. 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,” he wrote on X.