Columbia Joins Growing List Of Schools Promising That Protests Won’t Hurt Admissions Chances
Written by Zack Abrams
In a statement released by the official Columbia Admissions Twitter account today, Admissions clarified that students facing disciplinary action for peaceful protests will not be “at a disadvantage in the Columbia admissions process.” This statement comes in the wake of many schools promising the same, including MIT, Brown, Yale, and several others.
The Needville Independent School District, located outside of Houston, Texas, has promised that any and all students who participate in a school walkout protest, such as several being planned to protest gun violence, would be suspended for three days. Other districts have also made similar threats to the chagrin of gun control and First Amendment activists. These walkout protests are being planned after a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School left seventeen dead on February 14th.
Columbia has joined a growing list of schools that have promised that students who are suspended or otherwise disciplined for peaceful protests will not be judged by admissions, whether they have already been accepted to the school (the biggest protest is planned for April 20th) or if they wish to apply in the future. In a letter to students, Stu Schmill, Dean of Admissions at MIT, said they made the choice to “articulate the importance of responsible citizenship.” Many schools also released statements following the publication of that letter via Twitter.
Columbia Admissions clarified that the decision only applies to Columbia College and SEAS. At the time of publication, Barnard Admissions has yet to make a statement.
Students applying for undergraduate admission to Columbia College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science who face disciplinary action for peaceful protest will not be at a disadvantage in the Columbia admissions process.
— Columbia Admissions (@hamiltonhall) February 24, 2018
Update, 2/26/18, 5 pm: Barnard Admissions has now made a similar statement, stating that Barnard will “support the First Amendment rights of all students to engage in peaceful protest.”
Barnard College has a long and proud history of activism. We support the First Amendment rights of all students to engage in peaceful protest. Barnard applicants who choose to participate in responsible civic action will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions process.
— Barnard Admissions (@BCadmit) February 26, 2018