Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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BREAKING: Administrators, student demonstrators reach agreement to end encampment

Casey He/The Daily Northwestern
The University and the NU Divestment Coalition reached an agreement Monday morning.

Student demonstrators wrapped up negotiations with the University Monday after five days of demonstrations. The University will engage in a number of steps to support Palestinian students and protest on campus in exchange for an end to the encampment established on Deering Meadow Thursday, the University announced Monday.  

“This agreement was forged by the hard work of students and faculty working closely with members of the administration to help ensure that the violence and escalation we have seen elsewhere does not happen here at Northwestern,” the University said in a Monday statement.

As negotiations finished, the University agreed to permit protests and gatherings in support of Palestine at the Meadow through June 1, the final day of spring quarter classes. The permit will require that only NU students, faculty and staff be allowed in the demonstration area, unless otherwise authorized by the University, and may require a Wildcard ID.

In exchange, the Northwestern Divestment Coalition, who organized the encampment effort, will commit to leaving only one aid tent on the lawn. Though students will still be able to organize under a permit granted by NU, they will use only approved devices to project or amplify sound. Previously scheduled events must be able to proceed on the lawn, the University said. 

The University also said it condemns the doxxing of any community member in the agreement. “(The University) will advise employers not to rescind job offers for students engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment,” it says.

In a statement released Monday, the coalition asked readers to keep focus on what had brought protestors together: “The call for Palestinian liberation and an end to genocide and ethnic cleansing in Gaza.” The group also praised demonstrators for successfully growing the encampment and for avoiding suspensions or arrests.

The group emphasized that these negotiations are not the end of their work. They said the agreement was approved by representatives of the coalition in a 17-1 vote, and represent an important first step in their overall goals.

“In line with a strong commitment to a broad and inclusive coalition, and the principle of centering Palestinian student voices, this agreement was resoundingly approved by elected representatives of the coalition,” the group wrote. “Given the specific circumstances, we determined this to be the best course of action to achieve tangible wins, maintain a sustainable movement, protect our community, and build toward Palestinian liberation.”

The coalition initially said students intended to remain on Deering Meadow until the University agreed to all of the demands laid out in a document organizers called the Northwestern People’s Resolution

The resolution — authored by NU chapters of Educators for Justice in Palestine, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace — demanded the University protect student’s civil liberties and cut ties with Israeli institutions.

It specifically asked the University to end partnerships like NU’s Israel Innovation Project, which facilitates academic collaborations with Israeli institutions. Signatories also asked that the University disclose its direct and managed investments and divest from “institutions and companies that support and maintain apartheid, occupation and the oppression of the Palestinian people.”

The University has committed to provide a conduit for students to engage with the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees. It will also re-establish an Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility this fall, which will include students, faculty and staff.

NU is also committing to answering questions from any “internal stakeholder” about specific University holdings held currently or within the last quarter to “the best of its knowledge or to the extent legally possible” within 30 days.

In addition, the University committed to some support for Palestinian students and faculty in the agreement. NU will “support visiting Palestinian faculty and students at risk,” and will provide the cost of attendance for five Palestinian undergraduates to attend Northwestern.

The agreement said the University commits to fundraising to sustain this program. 

The University also committed to providing an “immediate temporary space for MENA/Muslim students” — a longtime demand from students on campus — and will provide and renovate a house for MENA/Muslims students as soon as possible. The final house is expected to come in 2026. 

The University will also “engage students in a process dedicated to ensuring additional support for Jewish and Muslim students within Student Affairs/Religious & Spiritual Life,” it said in the statement.

While the agreement does not stipulate that the University will cut ties with Israeli-affiliated companies — a longtime demand of pro-Palestinian activists on campus — the University did commit to including students in “a process dedicated to implementing broad input on University dining services, including residential and retail vendors on campus.”

The coalition said the agreement is a foundation for future activists at Northwestern. The group asked students to continue working toward the goals initially outlined in their demands.

“This agreement represents a commitment towards disclosure, which is a vital precondition for pushing toward divestment. It does not put an end to our work to continue applying pressure on the administration or the board of trustees in the coming years,” the coalition’s statement said.

The University’s statement also reiterated NU’s hate speech policies.

“Reported antisemitic and anti-Muslim/Palestinian incidents over the weekend — in most cases, fueled by demonstrators who are not affiliated with Northwestern — are unacceptable and cannot continue, and this agreement will help to ensure that,” the statement said. “Acts of antisemitism, anti- Muslim/Arab racism, and hate will not be tolerated, and community members who can be identified participating in such acts will face disciplinary action.”

It added that those found in violation of these rules and policies will face disciplinary action.

The agreement is signed by University President Michael Schill, Provost Kathleen Hagerty and Vice President of Student Affairs Susan Davis.

In a Monday morning message to the Faculty Senate, English Prof. Barbara Newman said the Senate did not have “any role in drafting or approving the new policy.”

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Twitter: @jacob_wendler

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