Columbia University Protests Begin

The Columbia University protests of 1968 were among the many student demonstrations that occurred around the world in that year.

The Columbia protests erupted over the spring of that year after students discovered links between the university and the institutional apparatus supporting the United States' involvement in the Vietnam War, as well as their concern over an allegedly segregatory gymnasium to be constructed in the nearby Morningside Park. The protests resulted in the student occupation of many university buildings and their eventual violent removal by the New York City Police Department.

In Spring 1968, the Morningside Heights campus was rocked by a series of protests, much like those taking place across the country and world.

At Columbia, the events were ostensibly triggered by the planned construction of a gymnasium in Morningside Park following decades of neighborhood neglect on the part of the university. Other issues, such as the university's entanglements with the US government and the Vietnam War, played a contributing role.

The protests resulted in a student strike, the occupation of various campus buildings by radical student protesters over the course of a week in late April, and the division of the Columbia student body these actions caused. They came to a violent end when University President Grayson Kirk called in the NYPD to eject the protesters.

Aftershocks continued to disrupt university life for the remainder of the semester, and set the precedent for future protests on campus. The university did not recover from the financial and psychological fallout from the 1968 protests for decades.