Over 1,000 Columbia University students on tuition strike, demanding pandemic concessions
More than 1,000 Columbia University students are withholding this semester’s tuition as they demand that the Ivy League school in New York City lower its cost amid financial burdens and the move to online classes prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Students initiated the tuition strike last week, when payments for the semester were due. In a sweeping list of demands, students accused the school of demonstrating a “flagrant disregard for initiatives democratically supported within the community.” The striking students are asking the school to lower tuition by at least 10 percent and to increase financial aid. The letter also asks the school to end its expansion into and gentrification of West Harlem, defund its university police force and bargain in good faith with campus unions.
Columbia is making money as its endowment grows in the stock market, but it is providing little additional relief to students, the strikers claim. Columbia has an endowment of more than $11 billion, and it reported more than $300 million in gains during the pandemic.
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