Columbia Announces Sanctions Against Student Protestors

Published: December 26, 2006

NEW YORK – Columbia University officials announced the school has informed an unidentified number of students that they have been charged with violating university conduct rules for rushing the stage during an anti-immigration speech.

Columbia President Lee Bollinger said possible sanctions include disciplinary warning, suspension and dismissal.

The incident occurred Oct. 4 when the Columbia College Republicans, a conservative student organization at the university, invited Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist and others to speak on immigration policy. The Minuteman group is a civilian anti-illegal immigration organization that regularly patrols the U.S.-Mexican border.

At the event, student protestors affiliated with various student groups such as the Chicano Caucus and Asian American Alliance interrupted speakers by shouting and chanting mantras. Protestors who charged the stage during Gilchrist’s speech were attacked by Minuteman supporters, including some not affiliated with the university. University security personnel quickly diffused the quarrel.

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Bollinger said in a letter to the university that rules governing student events would be strengthened, and events would require advance agreements about how they will be staged and who from outside Columbia will attend them.

Outsiders involved in the incident were informed that they were no longer welcome at the university.

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