Ming DeMers/Sun Senior Photographer

President Martha Pollack warned of further disciplinary action against demonstrators in her first email statement on the pro-Palestine encampment.

April 29, 2024

President Pollack Releases Email Statement Warning of Further Disciplinary Action Against Encampment Participants

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On Monday, President Martha Pollack released her first email statement to the Cornell community since the establishment of the pro-Palestine student encampment last Thursday. Pollack condemned the protestors’ actions and warned of more disciplinary action. 

President Pollack described that on the first day of the demonstration, the administration initially offered for the protest to be moved between Day Hall and Sage Chapel under an approved permit. The statement said protestors were given multiple opportunities to consider the offer across a five-hour time span, but ultimately declined to move. 

Pollack said the protest was initially registered under a “dishonest” request, with the event falsely advertised as just an art installation without tents. The protesters had also only reserved the space until 8 p.m. In response to protestors’ refusal to leave, four temporary suspensions were issued. 

“With full knowledge of the sanctions to come, they again refused to comply, and we moved forward with a first set of immediate temporary suspensions,” Pollack said.

The statement confirmed that the University administrators engaged in active negotiations with the protestors, including throughout the weekend, to again allow them to move to an alternate location. Pollack announced more temporary suspensions for students and human resources referrals for employees participating in the encampment are to come.

“We must enforce our policies in a consistent manner,” Pollack said. “Our policies are content-neutral for a reason, and we need to apply them in the same way in all cases, both today and into the future.”

Pollack called for a swift resolution to the protest, but said the administration will continue to engage with protestors. 

“Since last Thursday, we have tried to engage thoughtfully with the participants, and will try to continue to do so,” Pollack said. “But we need to soon get to a resolution that respects our policies, promotes the public health and safety of the community, and preserves the rights of all to do their work.”