Vassar student encampment grows as college leaders respond to students' demands regarding Israel-Hamas war

As of late Tuesday afternoon, the encampment organizers had not had any direct communication with college administrators, they said.

News 12 Staff

Apr 30, 2024, 4:50 PM

Updated 21 days ago

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They are settling in with tents, a generator and a steady stream of meals, provided by supporters of their cause.
The encampment of students in the middle of Vassar College's campus is growing.
The group "Vassar Students for Justice in Palestine" started the encampment early Tuesday morning with about 30 students.
By mid-afternoon, it had grown to include about 100 students.
They are demanding that college administrators publicly call for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war, disclose all companies the college invests in and divest from any companies linked to Israel.
They made special mention of companies that manufacture weapons currently being used by Israeli army units.
Kelly, an encampment organizer, said the protest just inside Vassar's main gate was inspired by others currently happening on other campuses nationwide.
In her initial emailed statement, Vassar College President Elizabeth Bradley did not address the students' demands, but said that "as long as the demonstration remains peaceful and does not disrupt the learning environment, the college does not plan to remove the tents."
In a second statement late Tuesday afternoon, she shared the college's stance on the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement the students are promoting.
"As a college, Vassar does not support BDS," she wrote. "Vassar will not support a boycott of Israel or Israeli products and services. Not only do we as an institution not support such a boycott, in New York State boycotts of this nature subject the College to ineligibility for state funding and puts Vassar at substantial risk of being accused of operating in violation of state and federal laws."
Nearby residents shared varying opinions on the protest with News 12.
The students said neither college administrators nor other students should be concerned about the protesters disrupting the upcoming campus during final exams, though they do not plan to leave until their demands are met.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, the encampment organizers had not had any direct communication with college administrators, they said.


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