Cooper Union sophomore Taylor Roslyn Lent is reassessing reality Thursday, a day after she and other Jewish students were locked inside the East Village university library as pro-Palestinian protesters pounded on doors and windows.Lent, 20, said she and roughly 50 other students were barricaded inside the library after a staffer at the private college locked a door as protesters stormed past security.“I can say that I felt unsafe and unprotected,” Lent, a chemical engineering major, told The Post Thursday. “I would like the university to admit what went on and not avoid the topic. I was shocked that I was experiencing this at my private university — in America — in 2023.”Lent said she and other Jewish students inside the library feared for their safety as protesters — including some carrying Palestinian flags and signs reading “Zionism Hands Off Our Universities” — descended on the building.Police said on Thursday that around 20 of the 70 pro-Palestine protestors, “all students,” bypassed the point where entrants are supposed to scan their IDs.An unidentified Cooper Union staffer then locked the door as demonstrators entered the building, according to Lent, who was “hanging out” at the library, she said.Of the 50 students inside, a small group were Jews, and they “were full of fear, some crying,” Lent recalled Thursday.The Post reported Wednesday there was a group of 11 Jewish students in the library.A senior at Cooper Union who asked not to be identified accused demonstrators of yelling “antisemitic rhetoric” as they pounded on a large library window.“When they started banging on the door, my heart started pounding,” the student told The Post Wednesday. “I was crying. I think if the doors weren’t locked — I don’t know what would have happened.”As a young Jewish woman at the university of less than 1,000 students, Lent said she now questions her welfare on campus.“I mainly fear for my safety on campus and in my school buildings,” she said.Messages seeking comment from Cooper Union officials were not returned Thursday. University president Laura Sparks addressed the “peaceful protest” in a message, saying demonstrators moved inside the building at about 3:45 p.m Wednesday.“To maintain a safe space, the library was closed for approximately 20 minutes while some student protestors moved through the building, some chanting protest slogans and banging on the library doors and windows,” Sparks said.Some have called the NYPD to make arrests, but Chief of Patrol John Chell told reporters, “There was no direct threats.”Plainclothes officers were with the protesters at the library, Chell said.“Students were not barricaded,” Chell said. “The doors were open but closed. A school administrator thought it was prudent to close the doors and place private security as the protesters were coming down the stairs . . .“For about roughly 10 minutes . . . [protestors] were banging on the doors of the library and banging on some transparent windows that you could see into the library,” Chell added.Representatives for a group of Jewish students at Cooper Union now want the university’s president fired for what they claim was her failure to protect them.“She failed in her duty,” attorney Gerard Filitti said Laura Sparks at a Thursday press conference. “All of these schools have a duty to keep students safe — and these students are not safe.”Filitti also said he wants to press criminal charges against the demonstrators, claimed he’d sue the school and called for an inquiry into why the NYPD was allegedly slow to respond — he said students were trapped in the room for at least 40 minutes despite repeated 911 calls.Solomon Rosenzweig, an alumnus of Cooper Union, said his 22-year-old daughter — a senior at the university whom he requested not be identified due to safety fears — was also inside the library as dozens of demonstrators chanted “Palestine will be free.”Rosenzweig, 48, of Brooklyn, said his daughter was “upset and shaken” following Wednesday’s harrowing incident. The civil engineering major was unavailable for comment Thursday while waiting to consult with an attorney.“I’ve gone and donated money back to the school because I appreciated the education and I thought that my daughter was going to wind up with the same. Only instead, the school allowed my daughter to be at risk.“I know she has a midterm she’s been trying to work on,” he said. “And her ability to process has been severely degraded.”The father said his continued support of the school is now in question.“My future donations depend on how the school responds and deals with this,” he said. “[My daughter] was looking forward to going for her master’s degree there and at this point, I’m not sure she’s going to do that.” Additional reporting by Reuven Fenton and Steven Janowski
27 Ekim 2023 - 01:25
Jewish students reveal what really happened at Cooper Union protest
The Jewish students “locked” inside the Cooper Union library “were full of fear, some crying” as pro-Palestinian protestors banged on windows, said sophomore Taylor Roslyn Lent.
27 Ekim 2023 - 01:25