A group of Jewish students from Cooper Union, a New York City art, architecture, and engineering college, were in the school’s library on the evening of October 25, 2023.
Around 1 pm a pro-Palestinian demonstration took place outside, and then the group decided to move through the library building.
One of the students barricaded in the library said that it appeared the protestors were headed to University President Laura Spark’s office when they “pivoted to the library.”
“When they started banging on the door, my heart started pounding. I was crying. I think if the doors weren’t locked — I don’t know what would have happened,” the student, who asked to remain anonymous, told The New York Post.
“I don’t want to speculate what would’ve happened. It just makes me too nervous. I was absolutely terrified in that moment.”
Security in the building locked the library’s 7th level doors where the 11 Jewish students were as they called 911 and relatives for help.
The Post reported that Sparks fled out a back entrance to the building when she heard the protestors were headed to her office. However, a school administrator offered to escort the students out the same back tunnel entrance Sparks used.
If they were scared, if the president was so scared that she left the building, then the police should have been called,” the student said.
“Why would they leave the students in the building without police protection when the president of the school who was also targeted left herself?”
Another student said that university police prevented NYPD officers from intervening and that they won’t be going back to class.
“I think we’re all honestly scared. We don’t feel comfortable going back to school tomorrow,” she said.
“It felt crazy that once they overtook the security guards, they still don’t want the police to come in. So that doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t make sense to me that once the doors were locked — which means that they clearly felt we were in danger — they still didn’t let the police come in … It’s confusing to me that once [the President] left, we were still there and they didn’t let police come in.”
Highly suggest you listen to this video with the sound on.
— Jake Novak (@jakejakeny) October 25, 2023