The War on College Campuses

by Lauren Camera at

Shortly after the militant group Hamas mounted a surprise attack killing 1,400 in Israel, the National Students for Justice in Palestine released a “toolkit” to help chapters across America organize a day of resistance on college campuses. Their materials called the rampage, in which the overwhelming number of dead were civilians and hundreds more were kidnapped to be held hostage, a “historic win for Palestinian resistance.”

That was a bridge too far for many conservatives who had long been distrustful of colleges and universities as progressive outposts indoctrinating the next generation with dangerously radical ideas. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis – a 2024 presidential candidate who made a name for himself fanning the flames of the culture wars – ordered state universities to expunge the student group, accusing its members of illegally backing the Palestinian militants under a state law that makes it a felony to “knowingly provide material support” to U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations like Hamas.

The conflict wasn’t hard to see coming.

College campuses have always been bastions of protest, where young, energetic students push older generations in the direction of the next social or political reform. But the war in Gaza has compounded distrust about and within the higher education community – with little prospect in sight for dissipating the toxic environment.