Antisemitic vandals caused about $3 million in damage at City College of New York

"That’s a real shame (...) it is money that should be going to our academic institution and lifting up our students," said Eric Dinowitz of the City Council.

A senior official at the City University of New York (CUNY) revealed that violent antisemitic riots at City College resulted in additional damage and expenses to the institution valued at at least $3 million.

During a recent appearance before the City Council, Héctor Batista, director of operations at CUNY, detailed that the vandals not only caused $250,000 in property damage to the building, including broken windows and vandalized furniture but also caused a fire to break out on the roof of the administration building.

The fire was caused by a protester throwing a flare, resulting in additional damage valued at $350,000. Batista said this was especially unfortunate, given that the City Council and the state had previously allocated funds to install a new ceiling.

The institution’s director of operations also explained that protesters caused another $600,000 in damage when they spray-painted video surveillance cameras to avoid detection.

When asked if the total damage exceeded $1 million, Batista commented that the additional security expenses incurred by the institution during the protests significantly increased the total cost. “In total, I’d say we’re upwards of $3 million in spending,” he said.

In response to the riots, CUNY hired $4 million in additional security services and had to invest in placing more fencing around the campus to protect it from outsiders.

It is important to mention that CUNY is supported primarily through state funding, municipal funds, and student tuition.

New York Mayor Eric Adams’ proposed budget allocates $1.29 billion primarily to fund community colleges within the university system. In addition to this municipal allocation, CUNY receives an additional $6 billion from the state budget to fund its operations and programs.

However, with the damage caused during the protests, expenses that should be allocated to student programs could now be affected.

“It’s costing over $3 million — money that should be going to our academic institution and lifting up our students. That’s a real shame,” said Eric Dinowitz, chairman of the New York City Council’s Higher Education Committee.

City College was not the only institution affected by damage during the protests; Multiple universities across the country were involved in violent anti-Semitic demonstrations that culminated in thousands of arrests and significant material losses. At Columbia University, the situation reached such a magnitude that police had to intervene and make arrests after vandals entered and took over an academic building.