In an email to students, Rodriguez expressed her disappointment, stating, “Cooper Union has fired me because of a social media post I made about ‘Zionists.'” The email was later shared on Instagram by the Cooper Union Students for Justice in Palestine. Rodriguez referred to her termination as “fascism,” adding, “Y’all are learning about it in real time.”
According to a New York Post report, Rodriguez also mentioned in an Instagram post that her firing was a result of her “public comments about ‘Zionists.'” However, it remains unclear which specific posts or comments led to her termination.
Earlier this year, Rodriguez participated in a CUNY for Palestine panel where critics accused her of making anti-Semitic remarks. She also posted an edited flyer on Instagram, depicting a pro-Israel event covered in cockroaches, accompanied by a derogatory caption targeting former Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr., who was involved in the event.
Accoding to the report, the pro-Palestinian student group condemned the termination, describing it as an “intense escalation of repression” that must be resisted. On the other hand, some individuals, including CUNY law professor Jeffrey Lax, expressed relief over Rodriguez’s dismissal.
Notably, this is not the first time Rodriguez’s behavior has come under scrutiny. In May 2023, she confronted a group of pro-life students at CUNY’s Hunter College, using explicit language. When approached by a New York Post reporter at her Bronx apartment, Rodriguez threatened the reporter with a machete. As a result, she was fired by Hunter College.
Rodriguez has pleaded guilty to harassment and menacing charges related to the machete incident. As part of a conditional plea agreement, she is required to complete a therapy program. The Bronx District Attorney’s Office stated that if she successfully fulfills the conditions, she may withdraw her misdemeanor plea and be sentenced to a conditional discharge.