Now Reading: Rochester students against apartheid and genocide in Gaza present statements to the press

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Rochester students against apartheid and genocide in Gaza present statements to the press

svgDecember 27, 2023MovementBoom Town Press

Because the corporate and quasi-corporate (WXXI) media continue to cover the story of genocide in Gaza with passive voice and superficiality, when they cover the plight of Palestinians at all, it was necessary for student protesters to put out their own statements directly to the press in December. None of the media stations that attended the December 13th press conference bothered to publish the statements in full even though in today’s digital age it incurs no additional costs to link to the actual statements by the students. The following are unedited text versions of the speeches made by students from campuses across Rochester, provided by The Committee to End Apartheid.

Read in detail the chronicle of events from the students’ perspective and compare that to the narrative being fed to the general public by the corporate press and the college administrations who have worked diligently together to squash free speech, debate, and education about Palestine. In particular University of Rochester’s Dean Jeffrey Runner is taken to task by students for his unconscionable statements to the press:

Runner denied that he compared the use of the word genocide to “waving a confederate flag in front of a Black person”. However, an email was then sent to the community including an apology from Dean Runner for saying that very sentence. The consequent apology also failed to acknowledge the Palestinans who were disrespected by his words. This lack of accountability and inconsistency from our institution’s leadership is abhorrent, and needs to be addressed immediately.

In addition, take note of the numerous student associations that signed off in support of the Students for Justice in Palestine statements. These include: Student Association for the Development of Arab Cultural Aareness (SADACA), Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), Pan African Students Association (PASA), Minority Male Leadership Association (MMLA), Puerto Rican Student Organization (PRSO), Refugee Student Alliance (RSA), Association for the Development of Interest in the Indian Subcontinent (ADITI), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Black Student Union (BSU), Korean Student Union (KSU), Student Organization for Caribbean Awareness (SOCA), Douglass Leadership House (DLH), Spanish and Latino Students’ Association (SALSA), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Muslim Students’Association (MSA).

*The names of the students were withheld for fear of retaliaion by institutions and/or individuals.

Third Statment from Students for Justice in Palestine (University of Rochester chapter):

To the University of Rochester, and Greater Rochester Community, 

We, the Leadership at Students for Justice in Palestine, are compelled to address a series of concerns that have emerged from recent communications and actions taken by the University’s administration. Our intent is to engage in a comprehensive dialogue, addressing point by point, to ensure that our perspective is neither diluted nor dismissed. 

On the University’s New Protest Guidelines: 

The communication released by University administration on November 20th has set forth new protest guidelines that we find alarmingly restrictive. These guidelines, which demand prior notification of gatherings, intend to assign personal responsibility to student organizers and intend to prohibit students from saying certain words and/or phrases, are perceived by our members as a direct assault on our constitutional right to free speech. Various administrators including Dean Algier, Dean Runner, Provost Figlio, and President Mangelsdorf have attempted to explicitly forbid us from using the phrase “Globalize the Intifada”, despite our efforts to make our peaceful intentions clear. The presumption that our expressions or chants are violent is not only unfounded but also discriminatory. It is important to note that our Jewish peers, including the newly established Jewish Voice for Peace chapter on our campus, stand in solidarity with us. They, too, reject the notion that our criticisms of state policies are conflated with anti-Semitism. University Leadership’s attempts to control our speech is a complete breach of our constitutional rights, an overstep of their authority, and a clear attempt to silence pro-Palestinan voices. 

The Misrepresentation of Events in Palestine: 

The University’s stance, or at times lack thereof, regarding the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza has profound implications. By not acknowledging the gravity of the situation in Gaza, the University effectively invalidates the lived experiences and suffering of Palestinians. This oversight contributes to a climate that enables violence and hate crimes, as tragically evidenced by the recent shooting of Palestinian students Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid, and Tahseen Ali Ahmad in Burlington, Vermont. Their stories highlight the real-world consequences of ignoring systemic oppression and violence.

Selective Engagement by University Leadership: 

The conduct of University leaders, particularly President Sarah Mangelsdorf and Provost David Figlio, signals a troubling bias. Their visible presence at Hillel gatherings and pro-Israel events, juxtaposed with their conspicuous absence from and disregard for our demonstrations, highlights a concerning lack of neutrality. This behavior suggests a favoritism that undermines the University’s commitment to inclusivity and balanced representation. To foster an environment where every voice is heard and respected equally, it is imperative that such uneven practices be acknowledged and amended. 

Language Bias in University Communications: 

The language used by the University in its communications reveals a disturbing bias. The passive voice applied to Palestinian casualties, as opposed to the active voice when discussing Israeli casualties, dehumanizes one group while humanizing the other. Utilizing the word “killed” when referring to Israeli deaths, and the word “died” when referring to Palestinian deaths in the University’s public statements, blurs the fact that Palestinians are being killed by the tens of thousands. These discrepancies are not a matter of semantics, but of fundamental respect and equality. 

Armed Public Safety Officers at Peaceful Rallies: 

The deployment of armed Public Safety officers at our peaceful rallies has been both alarming and contrary to the University of Rochester’s policies. The University’s Department of Public Safety website clearly articulates that armed officers may be deployed only in case of life-saving actions or emergency response. Our peaceful assemblies at the River Campus do not fit these criteria. They have been consistently peaceful, with no history of violence or threats that would warrant such a heightened security response. The very presence of armed officers at our rallies not only escalates tension but also stands in direct opposition to the University’s own policies, raising serious questions about the administration’s perception of our activities and handling of our concerns. 

This action taken by University administrators sends a disturbing message to our community and allies—that our peaceful expression of dissent is somehow perceived as a threat that could require an armed intervention. This mischaracterization of our intent and actions is not only unjust, but also has a suppressive effect on our constitutional right to peaceful assembly and free speech. Furthermore, the posted armed officers at our River Campus rallies, is a blatant violation of the April 2019 policy approved by then-President Richard Feldman, which expressly prohibits routine patrols or working a post on campus for armed supervisors. The mere fact that armed officers have been stationed at our rallies, suggests a breach of trust and a disregard for the University’s own policies by University administration.

Changes in Use of Wilson Commons: 

The recent prohibition against holding protests in Wilson Commons represents a significant shift from the University’s historical stance on the use of this space. Wilson Commons has long been recognized as the epicenter of student life and activism. An article published by the University of Rochester News Center on August 4, 2022 quotes Assistant Dean Laura Ballou outlining the various functions and usage of Wilson Commons on our campus. Assistant Dean Ballou is quoted as follows: “Whether it’s a social protest, students dressed in costumes or one of our many performing groups rehearsing, all of these sounds are what bring Wilson Commons to life”. This narrative supported the idea that Wilson Commons is a place where students could freely express their passions and concerns. 

The sudden reversal of this position, without transparent communication or consultation with student groups, is not only in total opposition from previously established uses but also seems to directly target our organization and its mission. The inconsistency in the administration’s policy undermines our trust in the University’s commitment to uphold free speech and to facilitate student activism. By changing the rules without clear justification, the University has effectively limited all spaces available for student expression, which is a cornerstone of an active and engaged student body. 

The Inadequate Apology from Dean Runner: 

Dean Runner’s apology regarding his previous remarks was not only insufficient but also hidden within an email about Thanksgiving shuttles. This method of communication appears to be an attempt to obscure the apology, diminishing its significance and further alienating Palestinian students. Moreover, inconsistencies in Dean Runner’s statements regarding his comparison between the impact of the word ‘genocide’ and “waving a confederate flag in front of a Black person” have only added to a climate of distrust. At first, when asked directly, Runner denied that he compared the use of the word genocide to “waving a confederate flag in front of a Black person”. However, an email was then sent to the community including an apology from Dean Runner for saying that very sentence. The consequent apology also failed to acknowledge the Palestinans who were disrespected by his words. This lack of accountability and inconsistency from our institution’s leadership is abhorrent, and needs to be addressed immediately.

Addressing the Incidents on November 30th: 

Our demonstration on November 30th was met with a deeply concerning response from University Public Safety. Over fifteen (15+) officers were present, many of them armed, confronting a crowd composed mainly of students, children, and the elderly. This excessive show of force is disproportionate and intimidating, especially given the peaceful nature of our assembly. Students were unjustifiably denied entry into a building and, alarmingly, subjected to physical force. Notably, one student was shoved from behind by an officer. This conduct by Public Safety officers is not only unacceptable but also a stark betrayal of the trust placed in them to ensure the safety and well-being of students. 

Furthermore, during this demonstration, a disturbing encounter with University leadership transpired. The Provost and the Interim Dean of Students approached us, offering to engage in dialogue. Despite their initial stance that meeting our demands was an impossibility, we, in our ongoing commitment to peaceful advocacy, agreed to meet with them. However, what unfolded in this discussion was deeply troubling. The University’s Provost, a figure wielding considerable authority, made a disconcerting remark directed at one of our students. In the presence of over twenty-five students and members of the University Leadership, the Provost repeatedly cautioned the student with the words, “Don’t test us, don’t test us. You have an incredibly huge, good, wonderful, amazing career ahead of you, so please, don’t test us.” The phrase “Don’t test us” was reiterated at least four times in less than a minute. Such an implied threat, targeting a student’s future for engaging in peaceful protest, is not only morally reprehensible but also starkly contradicts the principles of academic freedom and respectful dialogue that the University is duty-bound to uphold. 

In light of these points, we assert our right to protest and to speak freely on campus without fear of unwarranted reprisal or censorship. We implore the University to uphold its own standards of free speech, to engage with us in open dialogue, and to rectify the injustices that have been highlighted. We will continue to raise our voices, with the utmost respect for the principles of peaceful protest, until our institution aligns its practices with the values it espouses.

In continuation of our previous address, we, the Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Rochester, present our expanded demands. These are formulated not only in response to recent events but also as a blueprint for the University to demonstrate its commitment to justice, peace, and the equitable treatment of all students. 

1. Ceasefire Advocacy: We call upon the University to take an active stance in advocating for a ceasefire, thereby promoting a culture of peace and the preservation of life. This is not a political maneuver but a moral imperative that transcends borders and conflicts. The University’s voice should be a beacon in the call for an end to all hostilities, reinforcing its role as an academic institution that respects and cherishes human life and dignity. 

2. Recognition of the Humanitarian Crisis: It is insufficient to mention the loss of Palestinian lives in a fleeting comment within the confines of campus communications. We demand that the University formally recognize the humanitarian crisis that has claimed over 15,000 Palestinian lives, over 70% being women and children. Such recognition should be comprehensive and empathetic, reflecting an institution that is deeply invested in global humanitarian concerns and the welfare of all communities. 

3. Public Formal Apology: We insist on a public and adequate formal apology for the dismissive and insensitive comments made by members of the University administration, specifically those by Dean Runner. The impact of these remarks extends beyond personal offense; they reinforce damaging narratives that contribute to a wider climate of misunderstanding and prejudice. The University’s accountability in this matter is essential, and a clear, unambiguous apology is the first step towards healing. 

4. Protocols to Protect Free Speech: We demand the creation of clear, fair, and transparent protocols that safeguard free speech within the University community. These protocols must particularly ensure that the voices of Palestinian students and their allies are heard and respected, without fear of reprisal. Students advocating for Palestinian self-determination and critiquing the policies of the state of Israel should not be subject to censure or threat. Instead, they should be afforded the same protections and freedoms as all other members of the academic community, in line with the highest standards of academic freedom and open dialogue.

5. Demand for Ethical Divestment and Investment: We urge the University of Rochester to responsibly reallocate its financial resources by withdrawing investments from businesses that contribute to military occupation. This encompasses disengaging from corporations supplying military hardware used in occupation, those engaged in the construction or upkeep of border barriers, entities involved in housing demolitions, and those assisting in the growth of illegal settlements. It’s essential that the University’s investment strategies align with its commitment to human rights and ethical standards. 

These demands are neither unreasonable nor unattainable. They are the foundations that will lead us to attain a just, equitable, and enlightened community at the University of Rochester. We submit these demands not as an ultimatum, but as an invitation for the University to join us in creating a campus that truly reflects the values of diversity, inclusion, and respect for all people and perspectives. 

It is incumbent upon the members of our University’s leadership and board of trustees, as educators and humanitarians, to either embrace this pivotal role or to step down from positions of authority if they find themselves incapable of fulfilling their moral and academic obligations to the University of Rochester community, society, and humanity. This is not just a challenge; it is an opportunity for transformative leadership and a moral reckoning. The path forward is clear: to stand on the right side of history, advocating for justice and the dignity of all. 

With power, 

Leadership at Students for Justice in Palestine

Statemen from RIT student:

Hello I’m a student advocate and organizer at the Rochester Institute of Technology. 

All over the U.S., students organizing to support the people of Palestine are facing unilateral censorship and repression by their universities. These organizers have been faced with the utmost hostility reminiscent of the rampant islamophobia that gripped the nation post 9/11. They instill fear in us so we remain complicit in their agenda, but we have our own agenda. The people’s agenda, and no matter how they try to skew our agenda, we fight for peace and a permeate ceasefire and the freedom and liberation of Palestinians and those oppressed across the globe. That has been our mission before Oct 7th and beyond. 

I have been one of the many students organizing protests at RIT. We have been patient to get these protests mobilized despite our right to the first amendment freedom of speech. Every question insinuated “will it be violent? Are the speakers qualified? Will people feel unsafe”Why would we be violent? On November 27th community organizers and allied university student groups planned a peaceful protest utilizing RIT as a centralized meeting spot to gather and caravan to another location, the administration was alerted and they reached out to me and one other organizer at RIT and denounced this as an “unsanctioned event” where “external community members will be turned away upon arrival and student organizers will be asked to disperse.” We immediately emailed and clarified that this event is external, not direct through us, and that’s it’s a temporary use of space even. We explained that no cars would be left behind and people would only be gathering for 15 minutes, and that there was not going to be a formal demonstration at RIT. They stated that they were able to clarify the details with the administration. Parking Services and Public Safety pass on their support, but request those hoping to carpool and do not have a permit for D lot use G & H lots as their meet up. So we did as told and moved it to parking lot H. Despite our communication and our compliance to the rules, RIT responded with having both campus public safety and Monroe County Sheriff’s present and having undercover officers infiltrate the crowd. We at RIT and furthermore any of our allied organizations have ever given the administration any reason to doubt our word, we have only ever complied with every overbearing obstacle the administration placed in our way. We are tired of having to prove our humanity while constantly being treated like the inflammatory stereotype and that our protests have a dangerous, manipulative purpose. The treatment of predominantly Arabic and Muslim student organizers who are calling attention to a genocide occurring in Palestine is shameful and it echoes the complicity if not collaboration of US institutions in this genocide. 

So for more than 2 months, as universities across the United States claim they claim to care for diversity and inclusion, the president of these campuses, which doesn’t neglect that of the president and administration at RIT, completely disregards a whole population of students, blatantly choosing a side while the death toll of Palestinians is past 20 thousand. Bombings have not stopped. Families being obliterated with no where for safety—humanitarian organizations have stated that there is no place safe is Gaza. 

So as our administrations and people that are supposed to advocate for us in our own university turn a blind eye, we have to step up and pick up slack. Rhetoric is important. How we speak to

stand in solidarity with innocent lives is our responsibility to change the narrative curated by money and power hungry and politicians and administrators. So when we are met with unnecessary law enforcement even after communication with the university, how does the university really view us? 

I stand here today to show how the students at RIT and the greater Rochester area believe that the lives of Palestinians matter. That they are not neglected. That as a university that values science and innovation—that we don’t take human lives as a statistic. There’s a difference between peace and liberation, is there not? You can have injustice and have peace so peace isn’t the answer under a brutal occupation, liberation is the answer that’s the white man’s word Peace, Liberation is our word. We will not be silent until a ceasefire.

Statement from Nazareth College student:

Good Afternoon, 

Thank you all once again for coming here today, especially after the events that have transpired on this campus’ grounds. It is distasteful to witness a university, an institution, meant to foster the holistic growth of individuals and empower them, instead, opt to actively silence the much-needed dialogue surrounding the Genocide in Palestine. So we are grateful to have witnessed Nazareth University genuinely strive to continue its message of emboldening students to become change-makers and foster an environment where students can speak freely and honestly about the injustices faced. However, that is not to say our campus is without fault, and that is not to say our campus is perfect, Nazareth University is capable of doing far more than it has done in the past. 

Despite the dire situation occurring in Gaza, as opposed to acknowledging the innocent lives lost of men, women, and young children, key staff members in a position to influence the student body, took it upon themselves to protect their self-interests by purposely, and intentionally, spread false information about the conflict. As opposed to creating environments where students can engage in meaningful effective conversations, students who took it upon themselves to inquire or express support for Palestine; Found themselves being referred to the same Zionist historical jargon of Israel’s right to the land or declared antisemitic. Those of us who put up flyers to provide some form of aid or to announce a peaceful demonstration once again found ourselves at odds with these same staff members who went as far as declaring these actions as violating the University’s charter. As actions that diminished the importance of the Holocaust. As actions that were one-sided, calling for some members of our student body to downright dismiss the demonstration as they wouldn’t feel welcomed. 

Despite having staff members aid our efforts, we’ve also had professors and advisors single out those within our Muslim community in an attempt to make them feel unsafe, and revoke their right to speak out and feel heard. It is these instances that have placed a wedge within our religious groups and student body, preventing us from putting down our guard and truly embracing our humanity. As students of Nazareth, we stand in solidarity with the students of UR and students everywhere who have been forcibly silenced by their institutions due to resistance against genocide. We urge our universities to do better in becoming a place that allows us to come together to express ourselves while also feeling safe to do so. As opposed to the current reality, where we are silenced and students are actively concerned about being assaulted for speaking out. 

As someone who has stood face to face with the mass graves of children and innocent human beings who had every right to live, but instead were stripped of their dignity and shot into graves that today hold no marking except the screams of those who are no longer, I urge you to turn your face to truth. We are all witnesses to the Shoah (Or the Holocaust), just like here and today we are witnesses to the current genocide in Palestine and the innocent human beings who were stripped of their dignity and shot into mass graves. Do not turn away from the truth, because we said Never again, but yet the never again is what stands before us and yet we are silent while those who have every right to live are being slaughtered by those who oppress them. Paz, Salam, Shalom

Statement from MCC student:

It is disheartening that expressing solidarity with Palestinians is met with unnecessary difficulties. Advocating for justice should not be a burden, yet our institutions are making us feel this way. Raising our voice for Palestinians is a fundamental right and it shouldn’t be shadowed by undue pressure. The situation in Palestine demands our attention, empathy and action, and we will continue to speak up for the Palestinian cause even when our institutions try to censor us.

Second Statement from Students for Justice in Palestine (UofR chapter):

To the University of Rochester Leadership, Students, and Rochester Community: 

We write to you on behalf of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) once again, to demand that our requests be met and to update our communities on the University Leadership’s continuous disrespect and inaction. 

As we are all watching the genocide in Gaza continue to unfold with at least 10,000 Palestinians having been killed since October 7, we condemn the University’s silence. Our institution has a moral and ethical obligation to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis and to listen and support their students. Around the nation people who speak up for Palestinian lives are being threatened, harassed, and are facing professional and academic consequences. In the face of these struggles and sources of pain for students on campus, University Leadership remains silent. While not speaking to the public, they continue to actively dismiss our concerns and refuse to meet our demands. 

Throughout the last week, we have been in contact with university administrators such as Dean Runner, Provost Figlio, and Dean Algier to discuss the handling of our event on October 20th. University Leadership made it exceedingly clear that they do not regret what was said the last time they reached out. Despite the United Nations’ classification of the situation in Gaza as a mass ethnic cleansing, that has resulted in at least 10,000 Palestinian deaths in the last 27 days alone, University Leadership has reasserted that the use of the word “genocide” is inflammatory, triggering, and incites violence. They did not apologize or offer any sympathy for the way their words have perpetuated racist and Islamaphobic stereotypes. Additionally, during this conversation, administrators made numerous insensitive remarks that made students feel increasingly marginalized, uncomfortable, and were blatantly offensive. For example, Dean Runner stated that the use of the word genocide was equivalent to waving a confederate flag in front of a black person. Coming from administration, this behavior is beyond abhorrent. They also denied that the presence of Public Safety Officers was their responsibility, stating that it was necessary to protect students–without informing us of their presence.

University Leadership also claimed that they have been monitoring the news from Palestine closely in order to decide what action needs to be taken. Therefore, the University fully understands the immense human suffering and loss of life the Palestinian people are experiencing now and continues to believe that their silence is appropriate. Furthermore, administrators have interpreted our frustration with their lack of action as frustration towards Jewish organizations on campus. Not only is this untrue, but it also clearly demonstrates that University Leadership has been ignoring our attempts at gaining their understanding, and further incorrectly frames us as aggressors. We would like to clarify–our concerns are only regarding University Leadership’s actions, as we have stated time and again. 

According to University Leadership, the only way they are willing to move forward is if they meet with students behind Students for Justice in Palestine. This request is unreasonable given the current climate and backlash students all around the country are facing for speaking about the Palestinian cause, displaying the lack of consideration the administration has for student safety. Finally, as we have clarified countless times, there is no reason for us to meet. Our demands are clear, and we will not stop until they are resolved. The University’s unapologetic attitude towards their blatantly disrespectful actions and their refusal to truly listen to our voices is appalling. Our requests have not changed: We implore the University to release a public apology for their behavior and to formally acknowledge the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. 

Sincerely, 

Leadership at Students for Justice in Palestine 

These requests are supported by: 

Student Association for the Development of Arab Cultural Aareness (SADACA), Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), Pan African Students Association (PASA), Minority Male Leadership Association (MMLA), Puerto Rican Student Organization (PRSO), Refugee Student Alliance (RSA), Association for the Development of Interest in the Indian Subcontinent (ADITI), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Black Student Union (BSU), Korean Student Union (KSU), Student Organization for Caribbean Awareness (SOCA), Douglass Leadership House (DLH), Spanish and Latino Students’ Association (SALSA), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Muslim Students’Association (MSA)

First Statment from Students for Justice in Palestine (UofR chapter):

To the University of Rochester Leadership: 

We write to you on behalf of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). The purpose of this letter is to  express our distress brought on by the University Leadership in the organization and execution of  the event, “Understanding and Healing: The Palestinian Genocide,” which was also hosted by  SADACA (Student Association for the Development of Arab Cultural Awareness), MAPS  (Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students), and MSA (Muslim Students’ Association). We  are hopeful that a resolution may be reached regarding our concerns.  

This event was organized with the intention of providing a safe space for those grieving the  undeniably tragic events that have occurred in Gaza as a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding.  We diligently followed the established event planning protocols and consulted the appropriate  channels for the arrangement of this event. We received confirmation of the approval of our event  from Wilson Commons Student Activities for Friday, October 20th, at 6:00 PM. 

On Thursday, October 19th, the day before our event, the event organizers were made aware of the  University Leadership’s attempt at shutting down the event, given that it would be held at the  Interfaith Chapel around the same time as Shabbat services. When the organizers requested another  venue for the event, the University Leadership did not help. Additionally, we were told that the use  of the word, “genocide,” was inflammatory and insinuated the instigation of violence. However,  the United Nations has already classified the situation in Gaza as a situation of mass ethnic  cleansing, which makes our use of the word “genocide” an understatement.  

It was presumed that students attending the event would pose a risk to the Jewish students attending  the Shabbat dinner. It was presumed that the students in attendance, which were in majority  Muslim and Arab, are the ones who are inherently aggressive, playing on common Islamophobic tropes. It was presumed that those students would be the ones to incite violence. In truth, our event  was designed as an enlightening space—to educate, to heal, and to remember lives tragically lost. 

We repeatedly sought dialogue with University’s Leadership regarding our concerns related to the  Gaza crisis last week. However, our attempts were met with silence. With unease, distress, and  grief regarding the conditions in Gaza growing amongst the campus community, we knew that it  was important to provide students with a space to heal. 

At the last minute, we changed our event’s timing to 7:30 PM to accommodate the concerns posed  by the University. Unfortunately, during the event, we discovered a non-uniformed Public Safety  officer stationed near the lobby entrance of the Interfaith Chapel. We later understood that University Leadership had authorized not one, but three officers to monitor our event. This action  was approved without our knowledge or consent. Event attendees expressed that the presence of 

Public Safety was invasive and deeply unsettling. It made those organizing and those in attendance  feel criminalized and uneasy.  

The University’s Leadership was dismissive of the reassurances and requests from those  organizing the event. Furthermore, the failure to notify about Public Safety’s presence showcased  a disregard and lack of trust towards attendees from the administration. Students nationwide,  particularly Arab and Muslim students, are feeling increasingly unsafe. The fear within the Muslim  and Arab communities is heightened due to hate crimes, such as the murder of 6-year-old Wadea  Al-Fayoume. The University seems to have prioritized the safety of certain students over others,  despite its overarching responsibility to safeguard all its students. 

Our Requests: 

1. Public Formal Apology: We believe that our members, event attendees, and the larger  student community deserve an official apology for the University Leadership’s perception  of the gathering and its nature. Event organizers had taken all necessary steps to ensure a  peaceful event, and the presence of undercover Public Safety Officers directly undermined  these efforts. Additionally, the implication that this event would be uncivil or require law  enforcement is degrading. 

2. Recognition of the Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza: Given our repeated attempts to  communicate with the administration about our concerns, as well as the worsening  conditions in Gaza, we implore the University to formally acknowledge and address the  crisis in Gaza. 

Sincerely, 

Leadership at Students for Justice in Palestine 

These requests are supported by: 

Student Association for the Development of Arab Cultural Aareness (SADACA), Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), Pan African Students Association (PASA), Minority Male Leadership Association (MMLA), Puerto Rican Student Organization (PRSO), Refugee Student Alliance (RSA), Association for the Development of Interest in the Indian Subcontinent (ADITI), Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Black Student Union (BSU), Korean Student Union (KSU), Student Organization for Caribbean Awareness (SOCA), Douglass Leadership House (DLH), Spanish and Latino Students’ Association (SALSA), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Muslim Students’Association (MSA)

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2 Comments:

  • binance

    May 5, 2024 / at 5:47 pmsvgReply

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  • binance icin kaydolun

    May 18, 2024 / at 9:56 pmsvgReply

    Can you be more specific about the content of your article? After reading it, I still have some doubts. Hope you can help me.

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    Rochester students against apartheid and genocide in Gaza present statements to the press