Columbia Suspends Media Access to Campus 'As a Safety Measure'

Move comes after students stormed campus building and hoisted 'intifada' banner

(Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
April 30, 2024

Columbia University suspended media access to campus "as a safety measure" Tuesday morning, just hours after student protesters stormed a campus building, barricaded the entrance, and hoisted an "intifada" banner.

"Media access to campus is suspended," Columbia's Office of Public Affairs announced in a 9 a.m. statement. "Campus is accessible only to CUID-holders and essential personnel as a safety measure and that includes media."

The move comes shortly after student protesters sowed chaos on campus overnight, when they stormed Hamilton Hall around 1 a.m.

Masked individuals used hammers and other tools to open and barricade a door to the hall. They also used tables, chairs, and a human chain to block entry to the building. Once inside, students hung a banner from the building calling for "intifada" and chanted, "Settlers, settlers, go back home, Palestine is ours alone" and "Long live the intifada."

While a number of students on campus at the time called the police, law enforcement did not enter campus. That's because Columbia president Minouche Shafik "did not want the NYPD to enter and make arrests or charge any individuals," according to NBC News.

After the chaos subsided, Shafik effectively shut down campus, announcing in a Tuesday morning statement that only those who live in residential buildings and "employees who provide essential services" are allowed to enter.

Shortly thereafter, the school's Office of Public Affairs clarified that the policy also applies to members of the press. Before the move, reporters were allowed to enter campus during a specified window of time.

Columbia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Washington Free Beacon was on campus overnight as the takeover of Hamilton Hall unfolded. More details are available here.