Rubio demands Columbia president refund students after takeover by ‘lawless, pro-Hamas rioters’

FIRST ON FOX: Columbia University President Minouche Shafik is being urged to refund students who were inconvenienced and lost out on the education services they paid for with their tuition during the lengthy anti-Israel encampment on campus. 

“I write to urge you to refund Columbia students for the thousands of dollars of tuition and fees they paid Columbia University while you allowed lawless, pro-Hamas rioters to stop your institution from fulfilling its most basic obligation: providing a quality education,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said in a letter to the university president. 

The anti-Israel encampment, which saw antisemitic intimidation and language as well as the takeover of a campus building, began in mid-April and was not cleared until the end of the month. 

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According to the Florida senator, students are owed reimbursement for “the quality education they had paid for.” 

He noted that Jewish students were targeted and the safety of all those on campus was threatened. Notably, Jewish students were even told to leave campus by a rabbi, who claimed the school was not able to keep them safe amid the chaos of the encampment, which included pro-Hamas chants and signage. 

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“It wasn’t until rioters stormed and occupied Columbia’s Hamilton Hall on April 30th nearly two weeks after you allowed protestors to re-occupy Columbia’s campus — that you finally invited NYPD to respond and clear the rioters,” Rubio reminded Shafik. 

“Yet, by this time, safety threats on campus had become so severe that you were forced to cancel Columbia’s undergraduate commencement ceremony and cancel in-person final exams,” he continued. 

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“Your failure to respond to illegal rioters caused many Columbia undergraduates to miss three weeks of in-person education,” the senator wrote. 

He said nothing would be able to “undo the damage” that was done when the university allowed the encampment to escalate but encouraged her to reimburse students. 

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“Basic calculations suggest a $6,400 per student refund would offset for a three-week interruption in Columbia’s services,” he said, adding that no students who participated in the encampments should be eligible. 

Columbia University did not provide comment to Fox News Digital in time for publication. 

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