Ming DeMers/Sun Senior Photographer

Nick Wilson '26 is currently temporarily suspended for his participation in a pro-Palestine encampment.

May 1, 2024

Suspended Protester Rejects Offer to Receive Academic Credit in Exchange for Discontinuing Encampment Involvement

Print More

On Tuesday, Nick Wilson ’26 rejected a deal from the University to receive academic credit for the Spring 2024 semester in exchange for discontinuing his involvement with the pro-Palestine encampment on the Arts Quad. Wilson was one of four students suspended on Friday for participating in the encampment, which meant he would lose all credit from this semester.

According to a press release from the Coalition from Mutual Liberation, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards offered a conditional deal on Tuesday, April 30. Under the conditional deal, Wilson would receive “incomplete” grades, providing him with the ability to receive credit for this semester by completing any pending assignments after the suspension is lifted. In exchange for the offer, Wilson would have to sign a written agreement stipulating he would not continue to express his support of students joining the encampment protest.

OSCCS Director Christina Liang summoned a meeting with Wilson under the premise of “discussing the terms of the suspension” in more detail. However, at the meeting, Liang extended the deal as a verbal offer. 

The other suspended students have not received similar offers. As graduate students, Bianca Waked grad and Momodou Taal grad must undergo different procedures in terms of negotiating their suspensions. Cornell Graduate Students United held a press conference on the Arts Squad at noon on Wednesday where leaders discussed initiating a bargaining process with the University regarding the suspended students. 

The CGSU-UE wrote that “suspensions constitute a change in their working conditions that the National Labor Relations Law mandates Cornell University is required to bargain with CGSU-UE” in a press release sent to The Sun.

Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Wilson would be required to not “facilitate, engage in, participate or assist in” the encampment protest at Cornell or similar demonstrations across the country. The deal would also prevent Wilson from publicly encouraging students to join the encampment or speaking in support of student involvement. 

In response to the offer, Wilson stated that although he has been abiding by the terms of his suspension, he refused to sign an agreement prohibiting him from showing support freely for the protest. 

“This agreement represents an unprecedented escalation in Cornell’s campaign to silence community members who are speaking out in support of Palestinian liberation,” Wilson said in the press release. “Cornell believes they can take away our right to free expression, wrongfully suspend us and then bribe us into submission — all while continuing to support genocide with our tuition dollars. I will not be intimidated.”

Wilson also said he is receiving legal counseling regarding future steps outside of University procedure if the University does not repeal his suspension. 

The University declined to comment or provide any further information on the rejected deal.