Gaza camp protests predominantly occurring at elite colleges, report finds

The report found more pro-Palestine protests at colleges primarily attended by students from higher-income families. 


A recent report has found that Gaza camp and ceasefire protests on college campuses are disproportionately occurring at elite institutions, primarily attended by students from higher-income families.   

Washington Monthly report, which analyzed data from Harvard’s Crows Counting Consortium and reports of encampments, highlighted significant disparities in protest activities based on the socioeconomic backgrounds of students.  

Of the 1,421 public and private colleges ranked, 318 had protests and 123 had encampments. By cross-referencing these findings with the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants, the report concluded that Gaza camp protests are rarer at colleges that receive more Pell Grants.  

“In the vast majority of cases, campuses that educate students mostly from working-class backgrounds have not had any protest activity,” the authors reported.  

“When you separate out private and public colleges, the difference becomes even more stark, as the next chart demonstrates. At private colleges, protests have been rare, encampments have been rarer, and both have taken place almost exclusively at schools where poorer students are scarce and the listed tuition and fees are exorbitantly high.”  

Regarding private colleges, the report found that out of hundreds of private colleges where the percentage of Pell Grant recipients was greater than 25 percent, only five of them had encampments.  

Several factors were attributed to this trend, including the historical prevalence of protests at certain colleges and the political climate of these institutions. For instance, Columbia University, reported to have 5.6 liberal students for every conservative student, is cited as an example of a college with a strong tradition of left-wing activism. 

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