Columbia University Faces Calls For Tuition Refunds After Caving To Anti-Israel Protests

Columbia University faces criticism and calls from a host of critics for tuition refunds after announcing its decision to shift to remote learning for the remainder of the spring semester in response to ongoing anti-Israel protests on campus. The protests, which have led to several arrests since last Thursday, have created an environment where Jewish students feel unsafe.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and New York City Councilwoman Inna Vernikov are among those calling for tuition refunds over the clear distractions to education now present on the campus.

Huckabee argued that if a parent has a child at Columbia, they should demand a refund and then sue for breach of contract. Vernikov went further, posting on her X account, “A degree from @Columbia today is not worth more than a roll of toilet paper. Parents: definitely demand a refund & compensation!”

The decision to move to remote learning came after Columbia initially switched to remote classes for just one day on Monday. But as tensions had not cooled by Monday afternoon the Office of the Provost issued new guidance for the remainder of the term. The memo stated that all courses on the Morningside main campus would be hybrid until the end of each school’s Spring 2024 semester with some exceptions.

Critics have slammed Columbia for its decision, accusing the school of caving to the protesters rather than dealing with them. “Remote learning because Columbia is refusing to keep their campus safe for people of all ethnicities and religions. Is this a breach of contract? Has anyone requested a refund?” Marina Medvin asked on social media.

The protests have involved chants calling for the genocide of Jews and the destruction of Israel. One protester was seen holding a sign calling on Al Qasam, the militant wing of the terrorist group Hamas, to target fellow students who carried Israeli and American flags.

Michael D’Agostino, a junior at Columbia studying applied physics and applied math, expressed frustration with the hybrid classes given, telling the New York Post, “I really think it’s disheartening to see how our education is being punished as a result of this. I think it’s really sad.”