May 1, 2024

BREAKING: Two More Students Suspended Following Threats From Administration

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The University suspended two more student protesters today, following previous threats that additional suspensions were imminent after four protesters were temporarily suspended on April 26. 

On May 1 at 5:50 p.m., the Coalition for Mutual Liberation announced the suspensions of two additional students who were partaking in the encampment protest on the Arts Quad. The statement said that the temporary suspensions targeted “anti-genocide students and graduate workers” for their involvement in the protests, particularly students perceived to be in “positions of leadership.” The two students who were suspended May 1 are not part of the CML negotiations team. 

Suspended students received emails informing them about their suspension at 3 p.m. The University has charged them with the same charges as the previously suspended students — unauthorized use of University property by engaging in or facilitating outdoor camping on the Arts Quad without approval, failure to comply with University directives to remove the unauthorized encampment, unreasonably loud chants and behavior, failure to disperse from the Arts Quad and staying past 8 p.m. on April 25.

Bianca Waked grad, one of the students who was initially suspended on April 26, said the University was targeting students who are engaging in the protest, which she considered an example of “civil disobedience.”

“What the University is reducing to purposeless ‘rule-breaking’ must be properly understood as a core element of civil disobedience — deliberate and public rule-breaking for expressive purpose,” Waked said. “The Liberated Zone expresses deep discontent with Cornell University’s unequal treatment of their students — especially Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and anti-Zionist Jewish students — in addition to protesting Cornell’s material investment in the ongoing genocide in Gaza.”

The suspensions follow previous statements from the administration promising suspensions after protesters stayed past the 8 p.m. deadline on April 25. 

The press release said the University has stalled negotiations between protesters and administration over CML’s demands. The University has repeatedly said they would not engage with the protesters as long as they remain on the Arts Quad.