Oxford's oldest student newspaper

Independent since 1920

St Antony’s GCR suspends alumni privileges of Columbia University President

The Graduate Common Room (GCR) of Oxford University’s St Antony’s College voted to suspend the alumni privileges of Dame Baroness Minouche Shafik, the current Columbia University president who called the police on her students. Shafik earned a DPhil at St Antony’s, an all-graduate college of Oxford. 

The motion notes that Shafik’s reactions to Columbia students’ protests has been “widely criticised as appalling.” One of its citations includes a video where “the NYPD can be seen throwing the body of a student down a flight of stone steps.” The police made over 200 arrests in Columbia University.

St Antony’s GCR motion states: “Minouche Shafik’s handling of the student protests is contrary to the values of free speech, human rights, and ethical leadership that our University upholds. Our college community has a responsibility to take a stand against actions by alumni that undermine these fundamental principles.”

The motion, passed on May 30th, will formally request that St Antony’s College suspend the alumni privileges of Shafik, which includes a yearly free high table dinner, and forbid her from visiting college premises, speaking at college events, and attending alumni events.

A spokesperson of St Antony’s College told Cherwell that the motion will be discussed in the Governing Body, so the College cannot comment on it at this moment. The spokesperson said: “At present, our main concern is with the welfare of our students, both those who are engaged in protest and those who are not, particularly those who are immersed in their academic work at the end of the year.”

Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine told Cherwell: “We stand in solidarity with the students at Oxford and across the globe calling for divestment from genocide and apartheid, and we welcome the motion to suspend the alumni privileges of the Baroness [Shafik].”

“Even prior to her brutal treatment of peaceful protestors, she had threatened academic freedom to an unprecedented degree, opting to fire professors for speaking about settler-colonialism in Palestine and objective history but overlook prolonged, pervasive stalking and harassment by Zionist professors. Someone who chooses to invest in the destruction of every University in Gaza, as well as import violence and authoritarianism onto her own campus, has absolutely no place in academia.”

Check out our other content

Most Popular Articles