SUNY Purchase students start pro-Palestinian encampment

Student leaders told News 12 this was the result of months of protests dating back to last fall where they felt the school administration did not take their concerns about the Israel-Hamas war seriously.

Jonathan Gordon

May 3, 2024, 12:35 AM

Updated 15 days ago

Share:

The first pro-Palestinian encampment on a Westchester County college campus began at SUNY Purchase on Thursday evening.
Student leaders told News 12 this was the result of months of protests dating back to last fall where they felt the school administration did not take their concerns about the Israel-Hamas war seriously.
They're calling for the school to be more transparent about their financial investments and divest from any connections to Israel.
Junior Sabrina Thompson said students were inspired to launch this movement after similar college campus protests across the country.
"Students are always on the right side of history. Students always have been an active voice for social justice for peace," Thompson said.
School officials said police responded to the campus and removed more than 50 people who were not affiliated with the campus. A police presence remained on the campus into the evening.
One man who only identified himself as Joseph stood at the front entrance of the campus with an Israeli flag draped around his body.
"The rules of the university should be followed and if it is improper to camp out and occupy the space then it should be cleared," he said.
A spokesperson for SUNY Purchase told News 12 in a statement:
"The students are peacefully protesting, as is their right, as long as they follow the campus rules of order and student code of conduct. We are committed to maintaining that right and the safety of the entire campus so that all members are free to learn, work and live without disruption or bias."
Students said they are prepared to stay as long as it takes until their demands from the school administration are met.


More from News 12