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Amid Protest, Cal Poly Humboldt Shuts Down Campus for Rest of Semester

Amid Protest, Cal Poly Humboldt Shuts Down Campus for Rest of Semester

UCLA students protest the Israel-Hamas conflict, on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles on April 25, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

4/29/2024

Updated: 4/30/2024

Cal Poly Humboldt, in Northern California, announced April 27 it’s shutting down its campus amid an ongoing student occupation of a campus building in protest of the Israel-Hamas war.
The university said the remainder of classes and university business will take place online until the end of the semester May 10.
“The University supports free speech, however, there are many options to express those views that don’t put others in danger, destroy property, and completely disrupt campus,” officials said in a statement.
As far as commencement, which is scheduled for May 11, the university has not yet said whether it would be canceled but said it is “planning for various scenarios to help students and families celebrate this important milestone.”
Police were called on April 22 to remove pro-Palestinian protesters from Siemens Hall because the situation was “becoming increasingly dangerous,” according to university officials, prompting the school to announce a campus-wide shut down through April 24.
The protestors had barricaded themselves inside the building with classroom furniture, tents and chains, officials said, blocking exits and other spaces, creating safety hazards, for themselves and others who were working and attending class in the building at that time.
Officials also said that “hateful graffiti” has been painted on campus buildings, along with other damage to campus property.
Officers who attempted to get inside the building clashed with protesters. A video of the encounter, posted on Facebook, shows protesters pushing the officers out of the building and striking them with chairs, while the officers, donned in riot gear, used shields and riot sticks on the crowd.
The next day, protesters began to occupy a second building, Nelson Hall, on campus.
They are calling for a ceasefire in the war, which began Oct. 7 with Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel that killed 1,400 people and saw the taking of 253 hostages.
Since then, Israeli strikes have killed approximately 33,600 Palestinians and injured more than 76,200, Palestine’s Ministry of Health reported earlier this month. Some hostages have been released, but at least 32 have been reportedly killed in captivity.
In an April 22 Instagram post, the student group Humboldt for Palestine wrote a list of demands to university officials, including it disclose and cut ties with “Zionist” and Israeli universities, drop all “charges and attacks on student organizers,” and for an immediate ceasefire and an end to what they called the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
In response, university officials released a statement April 26 that said there would be consequences for protester’s actions that violate the school’s policy or law but that it would consider actions by students who evacuated occupied buildings and supported efforts to clear them. It did not, however, say charges faced by those arrested would be dropped.
The statement also clarified that the university does not have any “direct investment in defense companies or any securities issued by Israeli companies or organizations, or to defense firms.”
However, it estimated that its “potential indirect investment” in “the areas that are asked about” is less than 0.5 percent of the school’s portfolio.
It also said that while the university currently has no ties to Israeli universities, “Cal Poly Humboldt has a commitment to global engagement.”
Across the country, college and university campuses are seeing similar protests.
Students at several universities, including Columbia University and UCLA, have set up protest encampments on campus.
Columbia officials said April 29 it has begun suspending students, after demonstrators defied a deadline for clearing the protest encampment on campus.
Last week, USC canceled its main graduation ceremony, citing safety concerns over protests there.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

Author

Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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