It’s been more than 50 years since Columbia University became the site of student demonstrations amid unrest over the Vietnam War, but the spirit of protest on campus remains strong.

Late Tuesday night, dozens of protestors —the iconic site of numerous student occupations over the course of history—and unfurled a banner to reveal the building’s new name by protestors: “Hind’s Hall.” The designation was in honor of six-year-old Hind Rajab, who was killed by Israeli troops in Gaza. More than 100 people were arrested at Columbia by the New York Police Department (NYPD), with dozens apprehended in the hall. Those detained face charges ranging from trespassing, criminal mischief, and burglary, NYPD Chief of Patrol John Chell said .

The student takeover is part of ongoing pressure to have Columbia divest, or remove investment funds, from companies that have business ties, or profit from their relationship with Israel. The actions are also a show of support for the Palestinian people in Gaza who have been living in a warzone since Hamas kidnapped more than 200 hostages and killed around 1,200 Israelis on Oct. 7. More than 34,000 Palestinians have died since, per the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Aniko Bodroghkozy, a media studies professor at the University of Virginia, spoke with TIME about how recent protests compare to other moments in Columbia’s history some 40 and 56 years back. Bodroghkozy participated in a 1985 protest calling for Columbia University’s divestment from South Africa while she was studying for her Master’s.

This conversation has been edited for brevity and clarity.

It’s been more than 50 years since the 1968 Vietnam War protests that rocked Columbia’s campus. Looking at the present-day encampment, what are the biggest similarities between these two flashpoints in history?

The most obvious one is the student takeover of Hamilton Hall, which, in 1968, was the main classroom building. It was the main classroom building when I was at Columbia in the mid-1980s when the student divestment group, Coalition for free South Africa, blockaded Hamilton Hall.

The other obvious similarity is Columbia University administrators calling the NYPD to come onto campus and clear and arrest the students. In 1968 that happened twice. That was devastating to the university and ended up radicalizing a lot of students that had not been participating in the protests. It had such a negative impact on Columbia as an institution that by the time I was on campus in the ‘80s—which was the next major upsurge of student protests—we always said, “they’ll never call the cops again after what happened in ‘68’.”

Another similarity that doesn’t get a lot of attention is there’s been a lot of focus on the fact that the pro-Palestinian students have been more antagonistic to other students who [don’t] support them. At Columbia in 1968, [there] was a…significant number of student athletes, but not exclusively [just them], who attempted to prevent students from getting inside the buildings. There were scuffles among student demonstrators…and so that kind of antagonism between different student groups was also going on in 1968. Much less so in 1985, [though] our divestment movement has provided some inspiration to the pro-Palestinian, anti-war movement.

Since you’re mentioning it, I’m wondering if you can explain a bit more about the aims and goals of the 1985 protest, how that played out, and how it compares to what’s happening right now?

The focus was on South African apartheid, and students demanding that the university divest its financial holdings from companies that were actively engaged with South Africa. By the early-to-mid-1980s, a coalition at Columbia and other universities were starting to make demands of the Boards of Trustees to look at [their] investment portfolios. At Columbia, after a number of years of students trying to engage with the administration on the issue, they began to raise the stakes with a hunger strike. Then, the Coalition for a Free South Africa basically chained the doors of Hamilton Hall… and just started camping out on the steps. I think students could get in and out but that encampment went on for many, many weeks.

Eventually, the students and the administration came to an agreement to seriously talk through the issue and a number of months later, the Board of Trustees agreed to divest.

Are there any differences or anything that really distinguishes the protests we’ve seen over time?

In 1968, there was a clear leader, or spokesman. His name was Mark Rudd. He was the head of Columbia’s chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society—that was the group that coordinated the protests. He became a media celebrity, and sort of became [the image of] the student protests.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, which very much [had] a kind of non-leader, very grassroots, or everybody can be a leader, but we don’t have charismatic leaders — I think we’re seeing the same thing with this movement [model]. It doesn’t seem that there are leaders or spokespersons who are being elevated into celebrity kind of positions, so that seems to be a clear difference…Certainly, how the students interact with the media, or kind of don’t [is interesting.] There seems to be more anonymous students, because many of them are masked.

What about public perceptions of this protest? How do you think they compare then vs. now?

I would reframe that to media perception. Media was quite hostile to Columbia student activists in 1968. [I think] they referred to students as vandals, as barbarians. [It was] really quite hostile coverage…One quote…[was], “they’re staging the revolts at the Winter Palace,” so making references to the Russian Revolution was not favorable coverage.

The mass media was always looking at the moderate students: “Well, what are the moderate students saying about all of this,” or focusing on what the administration [was] saying. So the hostilities that we’re seeing towards the activists, not just Columbia, but throughout the country, feels very, very similar.

Also, the emphasis on outside agitators—that’s a term that I certainly was hearing a lot with the coverage I was watching and had been reading about what happened yesterday. That it’s “outside agitators” who have taken over Hamilton Hall. There was a certain amount of that in the coverage in 1968: “they’re taking their marching orders from these Black Power radicals,” particularly with the taking of Hamilton Hall, which was coordinated by Columbia’s Society for Afro-American Students…. So there’s that hostility [that’s] quite different from media coverage of youth activism in previous [or recent] years around gun control, the Parkland students, the march of 500,000 in Washington, climate activists or in the summer of 2020, George Floyd activism. That was—as far as other mass media coverage—somewhat more positive.

Certainly what I’m seeing with the coverage of the students at Columbia is that it seems to be quite hostile. I think that can be in part because the students are masked in all kinds of ways. Of course, some of the rhetoric was also troubling in 1968, and the media tended to emphasize the most flamboyant things that the activists were saying.

In terms of the response by university administrators, would you say their reactions to the protests are pretty similar?

In both periods, administrators seem to not quite know what to do. In 1968, the Columbia administration really did not want to call the police in, but they were kind of in a position where they felt they had no choice. And I think we’re seeing a similar dynamic right now, where the administration wants to handle it internally but feels external pressure.