Columbia announced it has canceled its main Commencement and will holder smaller Class Day ceremonies at Baker Complex. Read live updates here.

Update made on Monday, May 6 at 10:27 pm:

This evening, Columbia Health announced that it would provide in-person Medical Services appointments going forward. Patients will need to provide confirmation of their appointment at the 116th and Amsterdam gates. The Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) and Sexual Violence Response (SVR) offices will also be open with in-person appointments available in Lerner Hall.

An Emergency Management Operations stated that campus gate access will remain the same tomorrow, with only students living on campus, essential workers, and CUID holders with registered accessibility needs allowed on the Morningside campus. Researchers who require access can request approval from their dean. The only open gate continues to be 116th and Amsterdam with disability access available at the Wien Hall gate.

Starting tomorrow between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm, Lerner Hall will be open to CC, SEAS, and GS students. Students will be able to enter through the Roone Arledge Auditorium doors between 114th and 115th Streets. The Auditorium has been set up as a study hall through May 10.

Update made on Monday, May 6 at 7:37 pm:

In an email to students on Monday evening, Barnard Dean Leslie Grinage announced additional changes to the Pass/D/Fail policy. Graduating seniors will now have until Wednesday, May 22 to elect P/D/F grading for courses and the deadline for continuing students to elect, revoke, change, and uncover P/D/F grading has been extended to September 13.

In the email, Grinage advises students meet with their major, pre-major, and/or pre-professional advisors to discuss how P/D/F grading will affect them in their respective departments.

Additionally, Grinage announced that all students will have access to their grades on the same timetable, regardless of if they submitted course evaluations by the May 2 deadline.

Update made on Monday, May 6 at 4:46 pm:

On Monday afternoon, the Independent Student Workers of Columbia, which is not affiliated with any labor union, called on both its affiliates and non-affiliates to go on a “sickout” and withhold labor until the University “extends full amnesty for disciplined students” and removes the NYPD from campus. The statement claimed that the Morningside neighborhood had “become a militarized stronghold for the NYPD,” describing the heavy police presence around the neighborhood. It stated that the University had “quickly escalated,” and its “ill-advised decisions” have “endangered” the community, emphasizing the April 30 NYPD sweep of the Encampment and Hamilton Hall.

The statement also addressed the ongoing campus restrictions the University has enacted, claiming that many are “unable to access the campus food back or dining halls and are experiencing food insecurity.” In conclusion, the statement announced its support of CUAD and their demands and called for “the liberation of Palestine.”

Statement by Independent Student Workers sent to Bwog on Monday, May 6 at 3:10 pm:

We, the Independent Student Workers of Columbia, are sick of this university and its reprehensible actions toward its student protesters. Today we are issuing a general call for a sickout. Hundreds of student workers, joined by other members of the Columbia community, will withhold their labor, including final grades, until the following demands are met: 

  • Full amnesty for all past and future students suspended, expelled, or subjected to disciplinary action because of participation in protest activities against the genocide or calling for divestment, including both the Gaza Solidarity Encampments and the Hind’s Hall sit-in.
  • Removal of all members of the New York Police Department or any other state or federal policing force from campus immediately and permanently.

The current living and working conditions near the Morningside campus are intolerable. The neighborhood has become a militarized stronghold for the NYPD and its most violent unit, the Strategic Response Group (SRG), all at the behest of Columbia Administration and the Board of Trustees.

In recent months, the Columbia University administration has embarked on a path of discrimination, exclusion, and suppression of free speech and academic freedom in response to peaceful protests or even discussion of the ongoing genocide in Gaza. Since the April 17 student sit-in, the administration has quickly escalated to fear-mongering, lying to the public, mass punishment with no due process, and violence against its own students and community members. The administration’s ill-advised decisions have wreaked havoc on our community, disrupting life on campus, threatening the academic future of our students, and endangering the personal safety of our entire community and that of our students, the broader community, and the neighborhood. 

On the night of Tuesday, April 30th, the entire world witnessed the violent police invasion of the campus and the surrounding neighborhood. The NYPD locked media reporters, first responders, legal observers, and other bystanders inside John Jay Hall building before brutally attacking and arresting dozens of students outside and inside Hind’s Hall. The police then prevented paramedics from aiding injured students. We are relieved that, out of sheer luck, no lives were lost that night, as we now know that NYPD officers charged into rooms with weapons drawn and fired a stray bullet in Hind’s Hall.

After unleashing this assault, the administration has locked us out of campus, preventing us from working, studying, accessing our belongings, and receiving in-person medical care. Due to the lockdown, many of our students are now unable to access the campus food bank or dining halls and are experiencing food insecurity. Some students have been suspended for simply being on campus. Many may now be faced with expulsions. While the repeated rhetoric has been that this is all to quash “violent” and “disrupting” protests, the only real, and very dangerous, violence that took place on campus has been that of the police, and the only disruption to classes and work has been from locking us all out. 

These workplace conditions are unsafe and unacceptable. The actions of the Columbia administration are sickening. Because of this, as independent and unaffiliated student workers, we call for a sickout until our demands of full amnesty for disciplined students and cops off campus are met. There will be no grading and no research until the militarized lockdown of campus is lifted and all suspended and expelled students are granted amnesty.

What is most sickening is Colombia’s refusal to divest from Israel’s campaign of terror on the people of Palestine. Though we are not affiliated with any labor union or organization, as individuals we are supportive of Columbia University Apartheid (CUAD) and their demands. As we advocate for the demilitarization of our campus and amnesty for students that have faced suspensions and expulsions on top of arrests and police violence, we remain resolute in our call for the liberation of Palestine.

Update made on Wednesday, May 29 at 7:38 pm:

According to the Independent Student Workers at Columbia, the pro-Palestine sickout ended on Friday, May 24. On Instagram, ISW stated that during the sickout, over 6,000 grades were withheld across over 45 departments.

They stated that over the course of the sickout, various suspensions were lifted and the NYPD gradually left campus. The Instagram post claimed that if “full amnesty and permanent removal of NYPD from our campus” is not achieved by the beginning of the Fall 2024 semester, then another sickout will begin.

“If we have learnt anything through years of labor organizing at Columbia, it is how to strike and how to win — with or without union protections,” the post read.

Update made on Monday, May 6 at 4:32 pm:

Columbia Student Fernando Notari has organized a petition for a University-wide Commencement ceremony on May 15 after the previous cancellation announced this morning. A similar petition on titled “Require Columbia University to Honor Seniors with Proper On-Campus Commencement,” has garnered over 1500 signatures.

Update made on Monday, May 6 at 1:56 pm:

The Engineering Student Council (ESC) has released the Divestment Survey for the SEAS student body. The survey asks students whether they recommend Columbia divests from Israeli companies, ceases the Tel Aviv University and Columbia dual degree program, and cancels the Tel Aviv Global Center’s opening. Students have the option to vote “yes,” “no,” or “abstain.” The survey closes on May 13 at 5 pm.

On May 4, SEAS Apartheid Divest posted a statement to their Instagram claiming that ESC had “failed the student body” due to its lack of releasing a divestment referendum. According to the post, ESC vetoed the divestment referendum, stating “divestment was ‘unactionable’ by the council.” The Instagram post stated that ESC agreed to survey student opinions on divestment as opposed to a referendum. SEAS Apartheid Divest called on ESC to release a divestment referendum with a pathway to divestment.

ESC previously posted a statement to their Instagram on April 4 stating that a “Petition to Issue a Referendum on Divestment” could not pass due to the ESC having “no power to act on any of the items in the proposed referendum.” ESC agreed to “facilitate a survey with carefully vetted language regarding this topic.”

Update made on Monday, May 6 at 1:44 pm:

At 1 pm, the Student Workers of Columbia Union, a chapter of the United Auto Workers Union, began a picket outside the 116th and Amsterdam gates to support expelled students and rally for divestment. A group of around 15 to 20 students gathered, chanting, “We want justice, you say how, unsuspend our students now,” “Long live Hind Hall, fascist state will fall,” and “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest.”

Update made on Monday, May 6 at 12:43 pm:

This morning, Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) unveiled a quilt on Low Steps listing the names of all Palestinian children who have died in the past several months. In an Instagram post, CUAD stated, “On the same steps that thousands of Columbia students have graduated before, we honor our martyrs who will never get the opportunity to graduate.” Regarding the cancellation of Commencement, the caption read, “The administration knows their students will not stand for the University’s support for Israel’s crimes.”

At 4 pm, a rally will be held outside the 116th and Amsterdam gates as a part of a “Citywide Day of Rage for Gaza” series of protests.

Update made on Monday, May 6 at 12:36 pm:

Last night, Columbia College and General Studies announced extended Pass/D/Fail academic accommodations. Read more here.

Update made on Monday, May 6 at 10:42 am:

Commencement cancellation

Columbia announced the cancellation of the main Commencement ceremony that was scheduled to take place on May 15. The University will instead hold smaller Class Day ceremonies. Read more here.

Media access to campus

Columbia will give press members access to campus from 2 pm to 4 pm on Monday, May 6. Students who do not live in specific residential halls on campus still do not have access.

Campus via Bwog Staff