New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

9 students facing suspension after Bobst demonstration, PSC says

The NYU Palestine Solidarity Coalition also said two students were given persona non grata status on campus after pro-Palestinian demonstrators chanted and held up signs in the library’s lobby.
Krish Dev
(Krish Dev for WSN)

NYU suspended nine students who participated in a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Bobst Library’s atrium Friday afternoon, a recent NYU Palestine Solidarity Coalition press release states. A university spokesperson had told WSN that students who participated in the protests, which took place in the lobby and outside the building, would “be subject to the university’s disciplinary proceedings.”

A PSC representative, who requested to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, told WSN that a few hours after the protest started, four out of five students on the group’s negotiations team were suspended “on an interim basis.” The press release stated that the fifth member of the team, also a student, was denied access to the library and given persona non grata status on campus. Another student is also facing a similar status, according to a post on the PSC’s Instagram account

The group also said the university allegedly “made targeted phone calls” to the parents of two Black students on the group’s negotiations team “with the goal of intimidating and pressuring” them to leave the library. An NYU spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.

After the demonstration, the student representative told WSN that the remaining protesters would stay in Bobst’s lobby until NYU agrees to negotiate with them and meet their demands — which include shutting down its study away site in Tel Aviv, disclosure and divestment from companies with ties to Israel, and pardoning disciplinary action against students and faculty participating in pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campus. There are currently no protesters in the lobby, and the group did not respond to requests for comment about negotiations with the university. 

“A number of our undergraduate students on the negotiations team specifically have been suspended and, to that end, we think it’s a direct retaliation against using our voices,” the representative said. “If Linda Mills had any commitment to her words and her listening sessions and her suggestions of engagement and peace and safety, she would respond.”

In the group’s press release, the PSC said the suspensions were “forceful attempts” by the university “to clear students from Bobst.” The suspensions came after Campus Safety officers told students to clear the library, which protesters renamed the “Diana Tamari Sabbagh Library Liberated Zone.” In a previous statement to WSN, university spokesperson John Beckman said the demonstration violated university rules against disrupting “academic activities or to interfere with other students’ academic work.” 

“When you have students who are so committed to building relationships and developing a sense of kindness and a sense of love and solidarity toward not only other encampments and other friends in here but to the world beyond who is watching NYU students and Columbia students and students across the city — when you see that that’s the response, frankly it’s embarrassing,” the PSC representative said.

Carmo Moniz contributed reporting.

Correction, May 12: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the status of one of the two students given persona non grata on campus. The article has been updated and WSN regrets the error.

Contact Yezen Saadah at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Yezen Saadah
Yezen Saadah, Editor-in-Chief
Yezen Saadah is a junior studying cinema studies, journalism and Middle Eastern studies. He's a lover of cinema, history, art and literature, and he enjoys writing about pretty much anything. If he isn't in the newsroom or at the movies, he's probably just trying to enjoy his day off. Contact him on Instagram @yezen.saadah or send tips to [email protected]
Krish Dev
Krish Dev, Multimedia Editor
Krish is a first-year planning to major in Computer Science and Linguistics at CAS. In his free time, he enjoys posting photos on @krish_dev.creations, obsessing over geography, watching new films with friends, taking public transport to new places and letting Arsenal make or break his week.

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