Columbia to Punish Seven Students for ‘Minuteman Project’ Protest

January 19, 2007

Today’s New York Post reports that Columbia University has targeted seven students with disciplinary sanctions for their participation in a violent protest against a speech by Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist.

Yesterday, Columbia’s student newspaper published a January 7 letter signed by Senior Vice Provost and Rules Administrator Stephen Rittenberg, which was sent to the seven students in question. The letter, as reprinted in the Post, said, in part:

I have received a complaint from a member of the University that you may have engaged in conduct that violation [sic] sections . . . of the Rules of University Conduct by participating in a demonstration.

Some of these sections refer to serious violations and could lead to your suspension or dismissal from the University if you are charged and subsequently found guilty.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger drew widespread criticism for the stifling of free speech on his campus this fall, and this most recent development at Columbia will no doubt also draw comment from all those waiting for the university to stand up and support freedom of expression for its students.

Schools:  Columbia University