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Nationwide protests ignite as tensions on Columbia campus reveal ‘bunker mentality’

Minouche Shafik, the president of Columbia University, was in Washington on April 17 when she logged in to Zoom to convene her deans. Earlier in the day, pro-Palestinian demonstrators had erected a tent encampment on the Manhattan quad. They staged their protest just as Shafik — an economist and former vice president of the World Bank who was less than 10 months into her presidency — was preparing to testify before a House committee investigating Columbia and other universities over their response to campus antisemitism inflamed by the Israel-Gaza war.


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