Student Protests In US


Dixya Poudel

As US colleges and universities continue to see student demonstrations urging them to divest from Israel, even the ongoing graduation ceremonies have been affected. Pro-Palestinian protestors have been walking out of commencement ceremonies in solidarity with Palestine which continues to see humanitarian crisis and human-rights violation amid conflict with Israel. Student protests aren’t new to the US, but the recent protests resulted in scuffles shocking faculty members. The higher-ups in universities like Columbia University were flummoxed by the nature and intensity of these protests. As such, their decision to bring in the police enforcement to curtail the strikes resulted in arrests which backfired. 

This step was highly criticised in a land where free speech is the apostle of democratic freedom. Consequently, colleges faced broad rebuke as they issued warnings for the protestors. Student protests have peppered the history of United States, gaining widespread recognition during the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s. At the time, student activists played a significant role in challenging systemic racism, desegregating schools and advocating for voting rights. Its impacts were immense since desegregation gained grounds as the politicians were pressurised to take action to ensure civil rights. 

More recently, LGBTQ Movement and Black Lives Movement gained momentum through campus protests and strikes. One can say that they helped change the rhetoric when it comes to tackling racism, bias and discrimination. US colleges and universities are considered an apostle of knowledge, education and leadership as they continue to produce future leaders, scientists, educators and innovators among others. They are known to teach their students the values of democracy, leadership, creativity, and to think out of the box. Graduates from US colleges are highly likely to get prominent jobs ensuring their future, making US degrees quite sought-after.

However, even American colleges aren’t free from controversies. From the resignation of a Harvard University president in 2023 amid polarised university politics to current pro-Palestine protests, controversies keep rocking US colleges. And these protests are significant not only because they make headlines but also because they can be a harbinger for future changes. 

As of late, the campuses mired in strikes saw students stage protests for weeks in tow while the college administrators wrung their hands in desperation, even calling the cops to break the protests. Despite the clampdown, one has to admire the tenacity of the students who continue to protest in dissent. 

As such, the youths are known to be idealists. If one is to study the major political revolutions throughout the world, one would find them fueled by the ideals of the youths. And youths are certainly starry-eyed and lofty in their aspirations. They have the entire future ahead of them brimming with potential and promise. Demonstrations for them are an expression of their noble ideals.  Often politics in many nations are driven by college students and their youthful aspirations. 

Even in Nepal, one can observe political leaders rallying university students for a political gain. However, oftentimes, such students only become a prop for politicians. And yet, students continue to be a driving voice of dissent. It remains that the ideals of the youths which spill from scholarly campus classrooms to the zenith of activism can be a catalyst for positive, impactful and affirmative change.  

How did you feel after reading this news?

More from Author

Translate Republican Spirit Into People’s Life 

A Retrospect Of 16 Years Of Republic System

Democratic Republic Should Meet Civic Aspirations

Republican Rhetoric And Reality

Federal Republican Democracy: Some Reflections

Is Our Republican System Functional?

Women Empowerment Legacy Of Republic

Local Government Under The Federal Republic