GOP Delegation Arrives at Columbia To Call for Shafik’s Resignation

MANHATTAN—A group of Republican lawmakers, led by House Speaker Mike Johnson (La.), descended on Columbia University on Wednesday and called for school president Minouche Shafik’s resignation.

Their remarks, delivered at a press conference on the steps of Columbia’s Low Library, elicited near-constant jeers from the student protesters, many of whom have also been demanding Shafik’s head.

Johnson, who was joined by fellow Republican representatives Virginia Foxx (N.C.), Anthony D’Esposito (N.Y.), Mike Lawler (N.Y.), and Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.), admonished Shafik for allowing “hatred and anti-Semitism to flourish” at the Ivy League institution. He also called for the arrest of the unauthorized student protesters who have occupied the school’s south lawn since last Wednesday, when Shafik testified before a House panel on the exclusion of anti-Semitism on the Manhattan campus.

“We just can’t allow this kind of hatred and anti-Semitism to flourish on our campuses, and it must be stopped in its tracks,” Johnson said. “Those who are perpetrating this violence should be arrested.”

“I am here joining my colleagues and calling on President Shafik to resign if she cannot immediately bring order to this chaos,” the speaker said.

Johnson told the Washington Free Beacon that if Shafik fails to take immediate action, Columbia’s board must find a leader who will.

“This is a dangerous situation, and we met with Jewish students today who are in legitimate fear of their physical safety,” Johnson said in an interview following the press conference. “They can’t attend classes, they can’t study for their finals—it’s already stressful enough, right?”

“A university administrator has one first and basic responsibility, and that is the safety and security of their students,” he went on. “If they cannot maintain that, they need to find somebody who can.”

Foxx, who chairs the House committee that is investigating Columbia, said she has uncovered “key failures in the administration’s response to anti-Semitic attacks and displays embroiling this campus.”

She told the Free Beacon that Shafik must implement “some kind of penalty” if unauthorized protesters do not leave the encampment voluntarily and that there should be no limit on the number of students arrested or suspended.

“If they’ve broken the rules, they should be suspended or arrested,” Foxx said. “I mean, what would you do in the general population if you said, ‘Well, OK, the first 9 people who rob a bank, we’re gonna charge you, but the 10th person, you get off’?”

“The rule of law applies to everybody,” Foxx said.

Student protesters did not take kindly to the House Republican press conference. A large crowd assembled around the stage to heckle the lawmakers with chants of “Get the fuck off our campus” and “Go back to Louisiana.”

Johnson was unwavering in his message to the students inside the encampment, telling them to “go back to class and stop the nonsense.”

“Stop wasting your parents’ money,” he said.

D’Esposito, who represents New York’s fourth district, had the following message for the student protesters: “If you are proud you’ve been endorsed by Hamas, you are part of the problem.”

“Fuck you, you can die in hell, bitch, fuck you,” a protester shouted in response.

Johnson also floated the prospect of calling in the National Guard to restore order on campus, saying he planned to call President Joe Biden and press the idea.

While the student group behind the unauthorized encampment, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, said university leaders threatened to call in the National Guard during negotiations last night, the school’s head of communications, Ben Chang, denied the charge.

“That is untrue and an unsubstantiated claim,” Chang said during a press call held minutes after Johnson’s speech concluded.

Chang said he was “a little under the weather” and did not take live questions.

Johnson’s visit to campus came just hours after Shafik set a midnight deadline for protesters to clear the unauthorized tent encampment, only to push that deadline back twice, first to 8 a.m. and then to 48 hours later. The university went on to release a 3 a.m. statement, which touted a “constructive dialogue” with student protesters.

“Student protesters have taken steps to make the encampment welcome to all and have prohibited discriminatory or harassing language,” a university spokesperson said.

Original News Source – Washington Free Beacon

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