New York News

Hunter College Prof Fired After Berating Pro-Life Students Gets New Job 

The video of adjunct professor Shellyne Rodriguez yelling and cursing at students at Hunter College in May went viral and led to widespread condemnation of her tirade. (Image: Courtesy of Students of Life of America)

GREENWICH VILLAGE — The former adjunct professor who confronted pro-life students at an information table at Hunter College and was then charged with menacing a New York Post reporter with a machete last spring has apparently found a new teaching job.

Shellyne Rodriguez, who was fired by Hunter College on May 23 following the machete incident, is listed on The Cooper Union website as an adjunct instructor.  Her name appears on the fall semester schedule as an instructor of sculpture.

The Cooper Union did not respond to a request for comment. But the school’s website describes Rodriguez as “a Bronx-born artist, educator, writer, community organizer and public intellectual.”

Rodriguez turned herself in to police on May 23 and was charged with menacing and harassment after she held a machete to the neck of New York Post reporter Reuven Fenton when he and a photographer went to her Bronx apartment building to question her about the Hunter College incident. Her next court date is Oct. 2.

Both the machete incident and Rodriguez’s Hunter College tirade were captured on videos that quickly went viral.

On May 2, Rodriguez marched up to a table in a Hunter College hallway where students from the Catholic Students Association (now called the Catholic John Henry Newman Club), the Catholic Center at New York University, and Students for Life of America were distributing pro-life information and cursed at the students, charging them with “triggering” her students. 

Rodriguez aimed much of her ire at Patrick Rubi, who was a Hunter College sophomore at the time. The video shows her berating him for speaking out about abortion, pointing out that as a male, he cannot give birth.

Rodriguez also angrily tossed the pro-life informational pamphlets off the table.

The video of the tirade was posted on social media on May 19 and opened up a firestorm of criticism of Rodriguez. Four days later, she held a machete to Fenton’s neck as he stood in her apartment doorway.

The decision by The Cooper Union left the pro-life Hunter College students perplexed.

Sol De Leon Cruz, president of Catholic John Henry Newman Club, said it was puzzling since Rodriguez was dismissed by Hunter College “due to her history, which is incompatible with an educational setting.” 

As for The Cooper Union, De Leon Cruz said, “I have to hope they maintain vigilance against behavior that contradicts free speech and advocates violence.”

Students for Life of America expressed shock at The Cooper Union’s hiring of Rodriguez.

“With such a recent history of vitriol and violence, it’s shocking to see that she’s been given charge of students once again,” said Caroline Wharton, a spokeswoman for Students for Life of America. 

“Hopefully, no one will make her mad by using their free speech, as we’ve seen what can happen,” Wharton added.

Meanwhile, the Catholic John Henry Newman Club is planning to set up a pro-life informational table at Hunter College on Wednesday, Nov. 1.