Law Students

Campus Protests Disrupt Columbia Law’s Final Exams
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Columbia Law School faced upheaval as it postponed all final exams slated for Wednesday amid ongoing unrest sparked by pro-Palestinian demonstrators encamped on the Manhattan campus.

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Safety Concerns Prompt Postponement

In an announcement on Tuesday evening, Law Dean Gillian Lester cited safety concerns and the well-being of students as reasons for the postponement. The decision followed a police intervention earlier that day, resulting in the arrest of numerous protesters occupying a campus building.

  
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Lester acknowledged the impact of the crisis on the community, noting disrupted sleep, diminished focus, and challenges navigating the neighborhood for students living nearby.

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Persistent Protest Demands

The protests, primarily focused on Columbia’s alleged support for companies backing Israel’s government, represent one of the most enduring and high-profile demonstrations among universities grappling with the conflict in Gaza.

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Other institutions, such as George Washington University Law School, also adjusted final exam plans to mitigate potential disruptions from nearby protests, though campus officials assured students of their safety.

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Escalating Tensions

The situation at Columbia escalated as the university threatened to suspend involved students. Tuesday morning saw the closure of the main campus and all buildings, including the law school and library, to all but essential staff and select dorm residents.

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Impact on Students

Final exams, crucial for law students, began on Monday for second and third-year students and commenced on Tuesday for first-year students. The closure prompted adjustments, with Tuesday’s examinees given the option to take exams remotely or reschedule.

For law students, particularly first-years, these exams significantly impact grades, influencing opportunities for prestigious roles like federal clerkships and positions at top law firms.

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Conclusion

The disruption of final exams underscores the broader impact of campus protests on academic activities and student well-being, prompting universities to navigate safety concerns and ensure educational continuity amidst social unrest.



 

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