Isa (Isabella) Farfan


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International students risk immigration status to engage in Gaza protests

Reliant on visas to remain in the US, foreign students face heightened consequences for involvement in campus protests.

New York, New York – Israel’s war in Gaza is personal for Columbia University student Mahmoud Khalil.

A 29-year-old Palestinian refugee raised in Syria, Khalil wanted to get involved in the on-campus activism against the war, but he was nervous.

Khalil faced a dilemma common to international students: He was in the United States on a F-1 student visa. His ability to stay in

Protesters break windows at Columbia University hours after school starts suspending student demonstrators

Protesters at Columbia University broke windows at the Manhattan campus’ Hamilton Hall early Tuesday, hours after the school began suspending students who defied a deadline to leave a pro-Palestinian camp set up to protest the war in Gaza. NBC News could not confirm how many people were inside Hamilton Hall, but the university’s student newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, reported that dozens of protesters had occupied the building. “Let’s finish what they did in 1968,” someone yelled, apparently

Campus protests: NYPD moves in to clear protests at NYU and The New School; more than 2,300 arrested nationwide

California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, the northernmost California State University campus, today announced it has scuttled plans to hold graduation ceremonies on campus after protesters shut down the institution. Pro-Palestinian protesters began an occupation of two buildings at the campus in Arcata on April 22, the school has said. The protests prompted the school's leaders to close the campus and cancel in-person classes for the rest of the academic year. The occupation ended Tues

Who were the ‘outsiders’ at Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall?

When James Carlson was arrested inside Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall, he was already under investigation for snatching an Israeli flag out of a man’s hand near campus and setting it on fire.

That wasn’t the first time Carlson, who has no affiliation with Columbia, had run afoul of the law. He was arrested in San Francisco in 2005 during a violent protest organized by an anarchist group, according to a senior law enforcement official.

The 40-year-old animal rights lawyer is among the grou

Palestinian students' complaint against Columbia sparks DOE civil rights investigation

The U.S. Education Department is opening a civil rights investigation into Columbia University after Palestinian students and their allies filed a complaint last month alleging discrimination in violation of federal law.

Palestine Legal, a Chicago-based advocacy group representing four students and the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, received notice Thursday from the agency's Office for Civil Rights that an investigation would commence based on whether the university is adhering to

How the showdown at Columbia University between protesters and NYPD unfolded

The first sign that the weekslong standoff at Columbia University was nearing a dramatic finale came after dusk, when New York City police officers clad in riot gear began massing south of the east gate of the venerable Ivy League school.

It was around 9 p.m. Tuesday and the pro-Palestinian protesters standing in front of the wrought-iron gate could see the police gathering, and they were defiant.

“We will not move. We will not bend,” they chanted. “The occupation has to end.”

The protests ha

Columbia University protesters resume demonstrations after mass arrests

Pro-Palestinian student protesters resumed a third day of demonstrations Friday at Columbia University, saying their resolve has strengthened despite mass suspensions and arrests.

“This is the moral thing to do,” said Eliette, 25, who uses they/them pronouns and declined to give their last name out of fear of retaliation from the school.

The Columbia graduate student was one of 113 people arrested Thursday after the university asked police to break up a tent encampment students had set up earl

How the Columbia protests sparked campus demonstrations across the country

It just added fuel to the fire.

The decision by Columbia University’s president, Nemat “Minouche” Shafik, to call in the New York Police Department to clear pro-Palestinian protesters from the campus last week appears to have sparked the spate of increasingly strident demonstrations that have erupted at universities in New York City and across the country in recent days, students and faculty members said.

Since Thursday, when police arrested 108 Columbia University demonstrators, including Rep

Lawmakers, advocates call on military to do more to address violence against Native Hawaiian women

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Advocates and lawmakers are calling on the military to bolster their response to a state-commissioned report on violence against Hawaii women and girls.

The Missing and Murdered Native Hawaiian Women and Girls Task Force report, which was released last year, showed Native Hawaiian girls represent a disproportionate of missing children in and that women subjected to sex trafficking are at higher risk of going missing or being murdered.

The report also found a worrisom

Domestic violence changed her life. Now, she’s trying to end the cycle for other Native Hawaiian women

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - About 25 years ago, Dayna Schultz was beaten so severely by an intimate partner, she was hospitalized.

Living in military housing at the time, she says she was also forced off base on the mainland. She decided to return to the islands.

This trauma, and her aloha, motivated her to advocate for others in similar situations, especially other Native Hawaiian women.

“I’m still healing … 25 years later. But as an advocate, a lifelong advocate, I’ve been doing this work,”

Maui’s Latino community contends with destruction, grief and immigration fears after fires

Lahaina, the historic town on the island of Maui where Kimberly Romero lived, worked and sent her 5-year-old daughter to school, was already in flames when they fled this month with just minutes to spare. Mother and daughter found housing in an Airbnb. But now, Romero faces an uncertain future as her home and belongings were destroyed. Originally from Honduras, Romero moved to Lahaina a year ago and was just getting to know what she called a “homey” Latino community.

“I did see pictures of my a

The saga of Celsius: What the energy drink reveals about tensions between Barnard Dining and students - Columbia Spectator

In December 2021, the @barnarddining Instagram account posted a picture of two women wearing “Celsius. Live Fit.” shirts and masks and holding the popular energy drinks in their hands. The image’s caption announced that the energy drinks would now be available in the Diana Center Cafe and Liz’s Place, and that the drinks contained “0 calories,” “accelerate metabolism,” and “burn body fat.”

The NYC Bodega: A History of Violence and Resilience

You probably won’t find Jesus next to ketchup and mayonnaise anywhere but a New York City bodega where the city’s character, diversity, and history are embodied in a physical space. Morning to night and night into morning, bodegas are open, offering an assortment of goods including New York’s famous Chopped Cheese sandwich, as well as the head-turning bodega cat.

The Spanish term “bodega,” dating back to the 1840s, originally referred to wine cellars, the hull of ships, and warehouses. Today in

My Latest Work

Secretary Haaland stresses importance of indigenous knowledge in ‘era of climate crisis’

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Hawaii leaders gathered in Heeia on Tuesday to underscore the importance of indigenous knowledge preservation in conservation efforts.

“I see healing all over this area where people are bringing back native plants and native ways of doing things and I think that indigenous knowledge is one of the absolute most important things that we can practice in this era of the climate crisis,” Haaland said.

On the grounds of Kakoo

By day, he works at the airport. By night, this poet is a 3-time Honolulu grand slam champ

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Zarqui Omar Edwards, also known as “Z From Baltimore,” used to write poems to impress girls in middle school. But as he grew out of schoolyard love poems, Z expanded his verse to civic themes, landing himself on the stage of Slack Key Lounge as Honolulu’s poetry Grand Slam Champion last Thursday.

By day, Z works at the Honolulu airport as a training supervisor for UPS. But after work, he is a poet, activist, author, emcee, and now, three-time Grand Slam Champion.

Thi

West Harlem Art Fund pushes for new narratives in art curation - Columbia Spectator

West Harlem Art Fund Executive Director and Chief Curator Savona Bailey-McClain led a walking tour of New York’s Master Drawings galleries on Friday, Jan. 20, offering collectors and the public alike a look at historic artwork from art dealers in the United States and Europe. Following the walking tour, on Sunday, Jan. 22, Bailey-McClain moderated a panel with expert art dealers discussing a shift in art curation toward including historically underrepresented creatives.

A ‘meaningful moment’: Remains of South Korean soldiers repatriated in Hawaii ceremony

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The U.S. government repatriated seven sets of remains from the Korean War to the Republic of Korea Tuesday in a ceremony at Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Through a partnership, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency and Republic of Korea’s Agency for KIA Recovery used shared laboratory and historic analysis to identify the remains.

“We’re here today to honor that sacrifice with our Republic of Korea partners in the 70th anniversary of the ironclad alliance as well as the armis

Max Caffe will close at the end of August after rent increase - Columbia Spectator

Max Caffè, located on 122nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue, will close at the end of this month after 19 years of operation. Owner Tony Bruno told Spectator that rent was raised significantly but declined to disclose exact numbers. The café features couches, an attentive waitstaff, and hot coffee, all conducive to productivity, which has attracted Columbia students for nearly two decades.

Green issues emergency proclamation on housing aimed at streamlining new projects

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. Josh Green issued an emergency proclamation on housing Monday aimed at streamlining regulatory processes for the development of 50,000 housing units.

In a news conference at the state Capitol, Green declared that Hawaii’s housing crisis an emergency, and that speeding up housing development will minimize its adverse impacts on residents.

But some, including Sierra Club of Hawaii Executive Director Wayne Tanaka, worry that the proclamation will compromise environ

Talking jars, gender politics, copper IUDs, and financial independence with TikTok star Eli Rallo, Journalism ’21 - Columbia Spectator

Eli Rallo, Journalism ’21, made $35,000 last month on social media and owes part of this success to a glass jar. Rallo lives with celiac disease, and throughout her childhood, her parents sought to find creative ways to make Rallo feel “normal” when it came to food. Their solution was a big glass jar filled with a mix of gluten-free snacks.
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