ARDMORE, Okla. (KTEN) — "I think 'chaotic' is probably the first word I would use to describe everything going on on campus right now," said Ireland Baldwin, an Ardmore native attending Columbia University.

Protests focusing on the Israel-Hamas war began in the US on April 17 at Columbia University and have since spread nationwide.

Baldwin recalls being at dinner with her friends on Tuesday night before protesters broke into Hamilton Hall.

"As we were walking out of the dining hall, we got a message from the university that told us to shelter in place immediately or face arrest or disciplinary action," Baldwin recalled.

More than 100 protesters were arrested by New York City police in riot gear Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

"They broke through the glass in order to get in there, and they had occupied that building, and they used police to get them out and arrest the people there," Baldwin said. "I know that the people that occupied that particular hall were expelled." 

Baldwin told KTEN that the protesters have made it clear, they are pro-Palestine and want the university to divest from Israel.

"The police just trying to lock campus down and make sure that no protesters can retaliate," she said.

Baldwin, a history major is set to graduate this semester.

"My fellow peers in the senior class are also really really hoping for a graduation," she said. "It seems that the administration is very focused on going through with that, whatever they have to do," she said.

She hopes to walk across the stage on May 15, something many of her peers didn't get to do in high school.

"Considering that a lot of seniors in this graduating class graduated high school in 2020 and therefore didn't get a graduation because of COVID," Baldwin said.

According to NBC, as of April 2024, more than 30,000 Palestinian and Israeli people have died in the war.