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From Classroom to Controversy: Who Is Shellyne Rodriguez and What’s Her Story at Hunter College?

The name Shellyne Rodriguez is well-known not only in the halls of Hunter College but also in the larger fields of social activism and the arts. Rodriguez has guided a generation of students through the difficulties of contemporary art as a lecturer at Hunter College. This article gives a thorough analysis of this dynamic character by examining her career, social media effect, and recent scandals.

Shellyne Rodriguez at Hunter College

As a Hunter College professor, Shellyne Rodriguez has established herself as a crucial figure in the academic community. Her role at Hunter College has been marked by a passionate commitment to education and mentorship, fostering an environment where creative minds can flourish. Her teachings often explore the intersections of art and societal issues, urging students to consider the role of art in social discourse.

The Art of Shellyne Rodriguez

Shellyne Rodriguez is not only a professor but also an accomplished artist. Her work is a reflection of her deep engagement with city life and social structures. Shellyne Rodriguez’s art often addresses themes of resistance and empowerment, utilising a variety of mediums to express her views on social justice and urban culture. Her pieces are thought-provoking and challenge viewers to reconsider their perceptions of societal norms and injustices.

Shellyne Rodriguez on Social Media

Rodriguez is also active on platforms like Twitter, where her presence extends her influence beyond the classroom. Shellyne Rodriguez’s Twitter account is a hub for discussion, where she shares insights into her art processes, her views on current events, and support for social movements. Her social media activity further establishes her as a vocal and influential figure in the art and academic communities.

The Zionists Incident and Its Fallout

Shellyne Rodriguez’s firing from Cooper Union was precipitated by her social media posts about “Zionists,” which she disclosed in an email to her students, later shared on Instagram by Cooper Union Students for Justice in Palestine. Labeling her firing as “fascism,” Rodriguez claimed, “Y’all are learning about it in real time.” Her actions have ignited a fierce debate about the limits of free speech and the responsibilities of educators in their public and private expressions.

Antisemitic Remarks and Aggressive Behaviour

Rodriguez’s controversial remarks extend beyond her social media posts. In January, she participated in a “CUNY for Palestine” panel, where she allegedly made antisemitic comments. Furthermore, Rodriguez altered a flyer for a pro-Israel event to depict it as infested with cockroaches, targeting former Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in a highly offensive caption.

Her aggressive behaviour culminated when she threatened a New York Post reporter with a machete at her Bronx apartment, following their inquiry for a statement regarding her actions at a pro-life event at CUNY’s Hunter College, where she was teaching at the time. During the incident, Rodriguez screamed, “Get the f–k away from my door, or I’m gonna chop you up with this machete!” Subsequently, she was dismissed from Hunter College.

Legal Repercussions

Following the machete incident, Rodriguez was charged and pleaded guilty to harassment and menacing. The Bronx District Attorney’s Office has required her to complete a therapy program under a conditional plea agreement. If she successfully completes the program, she can withdraw the misdemeanour plea and will receive a conditional discharge.

Community Reaction

The responses to Rodriguez’s behaviour and subsequent firing have been mixed. While some see it as a necessary measure to protect students and uphold community standards, others view it as an overreach and an attack on free speech. Jeffrey Lax, a CUNY law professor and co-founder of Students and Faculty for Equality at CUNY, expressed relief on behalf of Jewish students but criticised Cooper Union for their delayed action, stating, “They’re not to be commended, they should be ashamed of themselves.”


Shellyne Rodriguez remains a significant figure in the contemporary art scene and academia. Her role as a Hunter College professor and an artist has made substantial contributions to the discussions on art’s role in society. Despite recent controversies, her work continues to inspire and provoke thought among her students, peers, and followers. As she navigates through these challenges, her career will undoubtedly continue to be a subject of interest and admiration for many within and outside the academic and artistic communities.

Feature Image: Shellyne Rodriguez said the pro-lifers were being “violent” by setting up the table and handing out literature.Rutgers University / Ny post

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