Cooper Union sophomore Taylor Roslyn Lent is reassessing reality Thursday, a day after she and other Jewish students were locked inside the East Village university library as pro-Palestinian protesters pounded on doors and windows.Lent, 20, said she and roughly 50 other students were barricaded inside the library after a staffer at the private college locked a door as protesters stormed past security.
“I can say that I felt unsafe and unprotected,” Lent, a chemical engineering major, told The Post Thursday. “I would like the university to admit what went on and not avoid the topic. I was shocked that I was experiencing this at my private university — in America — in 2023.”
Lent said she and other Jewish students inside the library feared for their safety as protesters — including some carrying Palestinian flags and signs reading “Zionism Hands Off Our Universities” — descended on the building.
Police said on Thursday that around 20 of the 70 pro-Palestine protestors, “all students,” bypassed the point where entrants are supposed to scan their IDs.
An unidentified Cooper Union staffer then locked the door as demonstrators entered the building, according to Lent, who was “hanging out” at the library, she said.
Of the 50 students inside, a small group were Jews, and they “were full of fear, some crying,” Lent recalled Thursday.The Post reported Wednesday there was a group of 11 Jewish students in the library.
A senior at Cooper Union who asked not to be identified accused demonstrators of yelling “antisemitic rhetoric” as they pounded on a large library window.
“When they started banging on the door, my heart started pounding,” the student told The Post Wednesday. “I was crying. I think if the doors weren’t locked — I don’t know what would have happened.”
As a young Jewish woman at the university of less than 1,000 students, Lent said she now questions her welfare on campus.
“I mainly fear for my safety on campus and in my school buildings,” she said.