Columbia U. students organize: Ahmadinejad is not welcome here; Update: Hitler-friendly and proud of it!
Update 7:50pm Eastern 9/22. Video: Yes, says Columbia official John Coatsworth, we’d invite Hitler. Because, of course, as I linked to yesterday, they already did.
Transcript of Dean John Coatsworth’s comments on Fox News:
If Hitler were at uh, the League of Nations or some meeting in NY–the League of Nations wasn’t there–um, if Hitler were in the United States and wanted a platform from which to speak, he would have plenty of platforms from which to speak in the United States. If he were willing to engage in a debate and a discussion, to be challenged by Columbia students and faculty, um, we would certainly invite him.
Reason number 9,991 not to send your kid to Columbia University.
Update 1:23pm Eastern 9/22. Bill Kristol calls for a boycott.
Update 9:45pm Eastern. Columbia U. alum Matt Sanchez sends along the security notice e-mailed to Columbia students regarding protection plans for Ahmadinejad…
Dear members of the Columbia community:
On Monday, September 24th, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is scheduled to appear as a speaker on our Morningside campus.
The Department of Public Safety is working closely with both the New York Police Department and the Secret Service – as we do for all major events on campus – to ensure the safety and security of all members of the University community during this high profile event. Please take note of the following procedures we are putting in place to maintain a safe and secure campus environment on Monday:
UNIVERSITY ID CARD NEEDED TO ACCESS CAMPUS
Access to campus will be limited on Monday, at various hours, to Columbia affiliates with a valid University ID card only. All faculty, staff and students must show a University ID to enter the campus.
114TH STREET GATES CLOSED
In addition to the above restrictions, the gates to access campus on 114th Street, at both Carman and John Jay Halls, will be closed during the day. In order to facilitate access to the South Field residence halls, we will open the Taint Gate at 115th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Entry to campus through this gate will also be limited to Columbia affiliates with a valid University ID only.
NOISE POLICY EXTENDED
We also ask for your patience as we extend the University’s amplified sound policy for student groups holding a rally on campus between 11:30am and 6:00pm on Monday.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we continue the work of keeping our campus safe for the many activities of our university community.
Associate Vice President
For Public Safety
Update 8:00pm Eastern. Columbia U. and Hitler: Then and Now. Wow.
Update 4:15pm Eastern. The American Congress for Truth has a petition to Columbia U. president Lee Bollinger. You can sign here.
Update 3:30pm Eastern. Mahmoud is welcome at the National Press Club for a lunchtime videoconference. For crying out loud.
Here are some details:
WHEN: Monday, September 24, 1:00-3:00
COLUMBIA STUDENTS (w/ Columbia ID’s): On campus, outside Lerner Hall
NON-COLUMBIA STUDENTS: The Columbia Gates. 116th and Broadway – we have secured a permit to stage a protest there.
WHO: YOU and your friends, along with Hillel, Hasbara, StandWithUs, Amcha, ZOA, The David Project, Columbia student groups, concerned citizens. Expected attendance is in the thousands.
WHY: Remember – the world is watching. This is a monumental opportunity to make our voices heard. Generations will ask us, What did we do to protest? Where were we?
NEED A RIDE?
Hasbara Fellowships will be organizing busses from various campuses and points around the city. They are planning to provide busses from: NYU, Rutgers, Baruch, Queens, Hofstra, Brooklyn, and from the earlier rally in front of the UN. YU and Stern students probably have their own busses, ask around. We also need people to step up and be campus leaders to organize the bussing and rallying. Please be in touch. More details will be forthcoming.
The Columbia organizers link to this video as a reminder:
And the organizers link to signs here. A few samples:
The campus paper, the Columbia Spectator, reports:
Nearly 50 student leaders and a dozen administrators sat down with University President Lee Bollinger for an hour on Thursday for a passionate yet civil discussion to air concerns about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s scheduled speech on campus on Monday.
When asked by Bollinger, student leaders overwhelmingly agreed that the event was in line with the academic purpose of the University, but several students expressed their disappointment in Bollinger’s handling of the invitation, with many airing concerns about student participation. Meanwhile, students began to solidify plans for a rally on Low Plaza this Monday.
Students’ concerns with the event included the logistics of establishing a rally on campus and the worry that lending Ahmadinejad a podium from which to speak would elevate and legitimize his views. Those in attendance expressed their greatest concerns regarding how students would be involved in the event itself.
“A girl came up to me after [a College Democrats meeting last night]—she was an Iranian student, an Iranian refugee, and she was near tears. She said, ‘I came to Columbia just for this moment, and I can’t believe the event is closed off before I can even register for it,’” Josh Lipsky, CC ’08 and president of the Columbia University College Democrats, said, while expressing his disappointment that only the most well-connected of students had been able to snatch up seats. He called on those in the room to give their seats to underclassmen.
Administrators said that 80 percent of all seats had been reserved for students. For those without a spot, the event will be available via Webcast.
Meanwhile, idiocy abounds. Here’s reason number 9,871 not to send your kid to Columbia:
Christien Tompkins, CC ’08, co-chair of the United Students of Color Council and member of Students Promoting Empowerment and Knowledge, compared the invitation of Ahmadinejad to that of Jim Gilchrist and said he was “disappointed” in Bollinger’s leadership for going out of his way to denounce the Iranian head of state and but not the “racist” founder of the Minutemen Project.
Because, like, opposing illegal immigration is just as bad as calling for the annihilation of Israel, pursuing nuclear revenge, and funding terrorism against American civilians and soldiers.
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