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Senate Republicans call on Democratic committee chairmen to demand answers from Columbia University President Minouche Shafik

Albany, NY, May 1 – Today, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, Senator Tom O’Mara, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, Senator Joseph Griffo, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Higher Education And Senator Jack Martins, Chairman of the Republican Working Group on Anti-Semitism in the Senatealong with Republican members of the committees, called for this President of Columbia University Minouche Shafik to appear before a joint meeting of the Higher Education and Research and Government Operations committees to present its action plan to defuse pro-Hamas protests and ensure the safety of all students on campus.

In a letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Toby Stavisky, chairman of the Higher Education CommitteeAnd Chairman of Research and Government Operations James Skoufis, the Senators request that the President of the University be summoned to appear accordingly Senate Rule VII, Section 2.

“It is critical that the Senate take action to address the leadership’s appalling failure to ensure a safe environment and campus and to ensure the safety of Jewish students. President Shafik must provide answers and inform the Legislature of its future plan to end these violent, anti-Jewish protests and hold the students participating in them accountable.” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.

“Columbia University’s lack of action to address the violent pro-Hamas protests that are endangering the safety of Jewish students and to provide a safe campus for all is disturbing. The state legislature has the responsibility to determine why university leadership has failed to take immediate, unequivocal, and strong action against these radical extremists who have effectively shuttered the institution. The continued and growing anti-Jewish, anti-American hatred and violence that has endangered Jewish students and educators can no longer be negotiated or tolerated.” said Senator Thomas O’Mara, ranking member of the Investigations and Government Operations Committee.

“I remain shocked by the pro-Hamas protests and anti-Semitism taking place on the campus of Columbia University. It is clear that the university administration is unable to deal effectively with this ongoing situation. While freedom of expression is valued, hate speech is reprehensible and unacceptable. A joint hearing of the Education and Research and Government Operations committees would allow us to hear directly from the administration about these protests and how the university plans to keep students, faculty and staff safe on campus,” said Senator Joe Griffo, ranking member of the Committee on Higher Education.

“There is no moral equality here. The safety of our students must remain priority number 1. ‘Negotiating’ on these types of issues is wrong. At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise, we must combat this issue head-on. It is time for our higher education administrators to protect all of our students. This level of hatred and discrimination has no place in New York State. We have to put an end to this now,” said Senator Jack Martins, chairman of the Senate Republican Anti-Semitism Working Group.

“While protests were taking place at Columbia University, Ms. Shafik testified before Congress to answer questions about anti-Semitism and how the university has responded. conflicts on campus about the war between Israel and Hamas. In her testimony, she asserted that she will do everything she can on her campus to address this issue head-on. Despite her recent statements, to date, amid the current chaos on campus, Ms. Shafik and her administration continue to take little to no active steps to end this ongoing situation… We have clear, definitive answers need to know what Ms. Shakif is doing to diffuse this situation and ensure the safety of Columbia University students,” reads the letter.

A copy of the full letter is attached.