Columbia Pauses Annual Donation Day Amid Israel-Hamas War Protests On Campus

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Columbia University has indefinitely postponed an annual 24-hour fundraising campaign amid a backdrop of recent campus demonstrations protesting the Israel-Hamas war, according to the Columbia Spectator student newspaper.

The university announced Monday that it would be postponing its annual Giving Day, saying it is “not the appropriate time to move forward” after “careful consideration and consultation with University and alumni leadership,” according to a statement from university spokesperson Ben Chang. (RELATED: Deep-Pocketed Liberal Nonprofit Is Propping Up Pro-Hamas Activists)

A statement from Barnard College — Columbia University’s sister school — suggests the fundraising initiative will be pushed into 2024, the Columbia Spectator reported. Giving Day was originally set to take place Wednesday.

This is the first time Giving Day has been postponed in its 12-year history on Columbia’s campus, according to the outlet. The Spectator said it hadn’t found any evidence of major university donors publicly withdrawing their funding at the time of publication.

The Israel-Hamas war has turned into a flashpoint on Columbia’s campus, with student groups holding massive demonstrations in protest of the ongoing conflict. Hundreds of Columbia students have rallied on campus grounds in October to show their support for either Israel or Palestine, including student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace at Columbia. The university restricted access to its Morningside campus to Columbia ID-holders during the demonstrations in mid-October, citing the promotion of a “safe and respectful academic environment.” (RELATED: Former Gov Drops Harvard Fellowship Over ‘Dangerous Anti-Semitism’ On Campus)

Anti-Israel demonstrations and statements have pushed relations between prominent universities and significant donors into turmoil elsewhere in the U.S. Prominent donors at schools such as Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania have publicly chastised administrators, accusing them of being reluctant to condemn anti-Israel demonstrations on campus.