Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Chris Gardner gave the keynote at the Spring 2024 Commencement.
Class of 2024 Graduates With ‘Permission to Dream’
Anna Holstein, Staff Reporter • April 29, 2024
View All
Griffin Miller tallied four strikeouts in four innings.
Ragin' Cajuns Ravage the Herd
Ben Cower, Student Repoter • April 24, 2024
View All
Walk For Hope Flyer

Courtesy of Phi Alpha
Walk for Hope to Shine Light on Suicide Prevention
Baylee Parsons, Copy Editor • April 19, 2024
View All
The Parthenon on Twitter
Chris Gardner
Spring Commencement to Feature Inspiring Speaker
Sarah Davis, News Editor • April 23, 2024
View All
Check won the javelin throw with a distance of 36.26 meters.
Track and Field Trounce James Madison Invitational
Wade Sullivan, Student Reporter • April 20, 2024
View All
Peter Canellos speaks on the life of Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan.
Amicus Curiae Focuses on Harlan
Sarah Davis, News Editor • April 18, 2024
View All
The Parthenon on Twitter

BeyondMU: Students Begin Occupation of Administrative Buildings as Divestment Calls Continue

Over a dozen students are currently facing immediate suspension following a pro-Palestinian demonstration and installation Friday, April 5, at Pomona College, with police detaining nearly 20 protesters.

The protests were led by Pomona Divest Apartheid, a student-led activist group, against the removal of a “mock apartheid wall” that was erected on the Claremont, California, school’s main quad last week.

“Eight days after students at the Claremont Colleges erected a mock apartheid wall on Marston Quad, college administration forcefully removed the students’ piece of protest art,” Pomona Divest Apartheid said in a media statement. “The apartheid wall was an installation art piece intended to ‘illuminate Pomona College’s complicity in the face of an illegal occupation and genocide.’”

Claremont Police Department was soon called after 30 to 40 of the 100 to 150 protestors allegedly stormed the Alexander Hall building and office of the university’s president, Gabrielle Starr.

Story continues below advertisement

“These actions are actively destructive of the values that underpin our community,” Starr wrote in an open letter after the demonstration. “Any participants in today’s events … who turn out to be Pomona students, are subject to immediate suspension. Students from the other Claremont Colleges will be banned from Pomona’s campus and subject to discipline on their own campuses.”

Starr went on to allege that the students used racial slurs when addressing an administrator, stating the college will not “stand for harassment of visitors or racial slurs shouted at college employees, all of which have taken place this week.”

According to law enforcement, half of the protesters left the scene once police arrived and ordered the crowd to disperse, but some demonstrators remained, leading to the arrest of 19 students who have been charged with trespassing.

These arrests were met with further protests formed outside of the Claremont Police Department calling for the release of the students.

Pomona College released a follow-up statement reiterating its commitment to upholding free speech and the right to protest on campus but would not allow “masked, unidentified individuals” on the campus.

These events come just after colleges and universities nationwide have begun rethinking policies towards protests after demonstrations have swept across campuses nationwide in the wake of Israel’s war on Palestine.

Similar events happened just days before when students at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, occupied College Hall, the main administrative building, after the university’s Students for Justice in Palestine chapter staged a walkout on March 28, demanding the institution’s divestment.

 The occupation remains ongoing as about 50 protesters hang pro-Palestinian signs out windows of the building, awaiting the institution’s divestment from arms manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrup Grumman and Boeing who supply Israel with weapons.

“Day 11 of occupying College Hall. It’s been half a year of a relentless nightmare,” the university’s SJP chapter said in a social media post.  “We wake up every day to photos and videos of people dying in the most horrific ways imaginable…There is no normalcy under genocide, and our occupation of College Hall stands as a reminder for all the Smith community. Smith needs to divest now because we all have Palestinian blood on our hands.”

While student protests have continued since the war between Israel and Hamas began, the demands of students have rarely been met with suspensions and arrests occurring nationwide.

Meanwhile, higher education institutions have struggled to balance their priorities of educating the students, providing a safe academic environment and protecting the rights of students and their free speech.

Students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology suspended several students last November, Columbia University students were attacked with chemical spray by pro-Israel protestors and investors and top employers have threatened to withdraw funding and support for continued pro-Palestinian sentiment. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Parthenon
$85
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will help continue the work of independent student journalism at Marshall University. If you benefit from The Parthenon's free content, please consider making a donation.

More to Discover
Donate to The Parthenon
$85
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Parthenon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *