Photo Credit: Gretchen Ertl
MIT President Sally Kornbluth, January 14, 2024.

Sally Kornbluth, the president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, last week suspended a student group that demonstrated against Israel’s war against Hamas, WBUR reported last Thursday. Kornbluth issued a video statement saying the Coalition Against Apartheid or CAA had demonstrated without adhering to MIT’s permission process which is required of all groups.


The offending group received a letter informing them that their privileges as a student group were going to be suspended, which means they will not get the funding that all student groups are entitled to, and are banned from demonstrating on MIT’s campus grounds.

Kornbluth stressed that “Suspending the CAA is not related to the content of their speech.”

The content of their speech was a protest against the IDF’s anticipated ground invasion of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

“I fully support the right of everyone on our campus to express their views,” President Kornbluth said. “However, we have clear, reasonable time, place, and manner policies for a good reason. The point of these policies is to make sure that members of the MIT community can work, learn, and do their work on campus without disruption. We also need to keep the community safe.”

Higher education leaders are increasingly tightening restrictions on student protests, especially those in support of “Palestine,” amidst mounting pressure from state and federal lawmakers critical of their handling of demonstrations against Israel’s self-defense actions in Gaza.

Stanford University has threatened disciplinary action against students who occupied a campus plaza for four months, protesting the war in Gaza.

Pro-Hamas students who had camped out at Stanford University since October 7, on February 8 called on their supporters to come and push back against the administration’s new policy banning tents and signs starting after 8 PM, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“Based on concerns for the physical safety of our community… overnight displays and camping will no longer be permitted,” Stanford announced, explaining that clashes among different groups of protesters and a storm blew some tents around campus. Students who violate the no-camping policy would be disciplined and criminal trespassing complaints may be filed with local police, the administration warned.

At Brown University, 19 students engaged in the “Hunger Strike for Palestine” reported that university officials removed their “memorial flags” and erased chalk messages from their demonstration areas, where they urged Brown to divest its endowment from arms manufacturers. Despite the students’ demands, the university declined to entertain the idea, prompting the students to conclude their weeklong hunger strike. Brown President Christina Paxson emphasized that the criteria for divestment are stringent, asserting the university’s stance against leveraging the endowment for political advocacy on contentious matters.

Brown’s spokesperson, Brian Clark, admitted that the university indeed erased a chalked statement by the student group on one occasion and removed “visual displays” from several campus green spaces. He explained that these actions were conducted in keeping with established university policies.

The CAA demonstration was not its first unauthorized protest on the grounds of MIT. In early November they blocked the main entrance to the campus, and the the administration threatened to suspend them. MIT officials later revealed that they didn’t make good on the threat because of “visa issues,” meaning some of the students who violated the law were not US citizens, and their suspension would have led to deportation.

Isn’t democracy just delicious?


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David writes news at