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

NYU allegedly drops charges against protesters arrested at Gould Plaza

A legal representative for student and faculty protesters also challenged NYU’s report of the number of arrests carried out by police at the encampment.
Manasa Gudavalli
Dozens of students and faculty were arrested at Gould Plaza on April 22. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

NYU dropped criminal charges brought against all protesters arrested at the Gaza Solidarity Encampment in Gould Plaza, including students and faculty, a member of the university’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors told WSN. 

Steinhardt professor Paula Chakravartty, the vice president of NYU AAUP, did not specify what charges the protesters faced. Chakravartty said members of the organization “appreciate the news,” but “remain extremely concerned” about NYU administration and President Linda Mills’ accounts of the encampment. She also said the AAUP is in support of student activists “demanding amnesty from university disciplinary actions” for all students involved at the Gould Plaza demonstration, as well as past and ongoing pro-Palestinian protests on campus. 

“We have heard from the lawyers representing all who were arrested on April 22 that the criminal charges have been dropped, which is good news,” Chakravartty wrote in a statement. “But of course, no one should have been arrested in the first place.”

Though the university said the New York City Police Department arrested 133 protesters at Gould Plaza — including 65 current students and faculty — a legal representative for students and faculty told WSN 136 protesters were arrested. The representative said of those demonstrators, 40 were students, 26 were faculty and staff, 13 were alumni, at least three were community members who attend the Islamic Center at NYU and the rest were non-NYU affiliates. 

Since the encampment in Gould Plaza three weeks ago, on-campus groups have reiterated demands for NYU to divest from companies with ties to Israel, shut down its study away site in Tel Aviv, remove police from campus and forgive students and faculty facing disciplinary action for their involvement in demonstrations. The university has said it is not considering divestment from Israel, and repeatedly rejected calls to close its Tel Aviv program. 

NYU allegedly began disciplinary hearings for students who were involved in recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campus last week, although the NYU Palestine Solidarity Coalition did not say how many students had been charged with misconduct violations or what university policies they were accused of violating. More recently, nine students were suspended and two were given persona non grata status after a demonstration in Bobst Library on Friday, according to NYU PSC. 

The NYU Alumni for Justice in Palestine group, which represents over 3,000 alumni, previously said it would provide legal support to any students, faculty or other university affiliates who took part in the Gould Plaza encampment. 

Since October, NYU has reviewed more than 160 conduct cases “related to current concerns,” many of which involved unidentifiable or unaffiliated individuals, according to administrators. Two professors were suspended earlier this semester after making comments on Israel’s ongoing siege in Gaza, and the university recently terminated a postdoctoral instructor after footage of him taking down posters of hostages taken by Hamas emerged online. Last fall, a student was suspended after taking down posters of hostages and is now suing NYU for allegedly misapplying its conduct policies to her case. 

“As we have stated multiple times over the course of the last many months, students should not be disciplined for anti-war protests on our campus and pro-Palestinian speech and civic activity on campus should be protected,” Chakravartty wrote. 

An NYU spokesperson and legal representatives did not respond to requests for comment.

Krish Dev contributed reporting.

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]
Manasa Gudavalli
Manasa Gudavalli, Editor-in-Chief
Manasa Gudavalli is a super senior studying a super strange combination of psychology, mathematics, journalism, and chemistry. When they are not editing the Washington Square News, they are probably reading Freud, watching college football, or developing film photos. You can find them on Instagram @manasa.gudavalli and

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