Palo Alto High School's News and Features Publication

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

Verde Magazine

College campus protests affect Paly alumni

Kensie Pao
PROMOTING PEACE — Stanford University students set up encampments to protest the war in Gaza. Protests have been affecting university campuses all across the country. “I think that the environment on campus definitely was kind of hostile sometimes,” Columbia student Emily Yao said.

College life across the country is being disrupted as university administrators are taking action against the continuing campus protests and encampments surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Both Columbia University and the University of Southern California’s commencement ceremonies are canceled. Meanwhile, protests are ongoing in many other campuses across America.

I probably haven’t gotten a single assignment done. It’s terrible like all I do is … sleep. My whole lifestyle is so messed up.

— Emily Yao, Columbia University sophomore and Palo Alto High School alumna

According to Columbia sophomore and Palo Alto High School alumna Emily Yao, Columbia made all final exams fully remote, and the final exam schedule is inconsistent. Some student have had their finals canceled, while others are required to take final exams online during this stressful period. This inconsistency is inconveniencing herself and her peers.

“She’s [Yao’s suitemate] still super stressed out because her professors have not been very lenient,” Yao said. “Whereas I know people who have basically gotten straight A’s and don’t [need to] worry, it’s … kind of unfair to not have a standardized practice,” Yao said.

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The tensions around campus have made it difficult for students such as Yao to focus on education.

“I probably haven’t gotten a single assignment done,” Yao said. “It’s terrible like all I do is … sleep. My whole lifestyle is so messed up,” Yao said.

The escalation of tensions has challenged students. Barnard College sophomore and Paly alumna Emma Joing was a part of Columbia’s recent student protests.

“It’s been tough going through the past two weeks and seeing how much the students have gone through and how much the administration has pushed back and how much it’s affected myself and my peers and our campus,” Joing said.

Stanford University protests: pro-Israelis and pro-Palestinians protest over Middle East conflict