Campus News

Camp demonstration persists amid year-end activities

Camp demonstration persists amid year-end activities

Syracuse University erects a screened chain-link fence around the Gaza Solidarity Encampment on the quad.

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A soon-to-be Syracuse University graduate has a photo taken Thursday in front of Hendricks Chapel adjacent to the pro-Palestine encampment.

Pro-Palestinian supporters continued their occupation of the western end of Shaw Quad on Thursday despite the university’s requests to relocate the encampment a day earlier in preparation of Commencement Weekend. 

Outside of the encampment, the Syracuse University campus buzzed with seniors gathering on the promenade for the Senior Celebration with food trucks and students dressed in graduation regalia for photographs.

On Thursday morning, university employees put up a green-lined chain-link fence on one side of the Gaza Solidarity Encampment, separating it from the rest of the open lawn where tents have been erected for graduation-related activities. Demonstrators have refused SU’s request to relocate to one of two alternate campus sites near the Life and Sciences Building or Women’s Building Field.

About two dozen tents were pitched on the quad as of Thursday afternoon as supporters flowed in and out of the encampment where yoga, a teach-in about necropolitics by SU religion Prof. Biko Mandela Gray and sign-making were among the activities.

Scenes from Syracuse University Gaza Encampment in Kenneth A. Shaw Quadrangle on Thursday May 9, 2024. Photo by Matt Hofmann.
Matt Hofmann
Scenes from Syracuse University Gaza Encampment in Kenneth A. Shaw Quadrangle. A fence has been erected around the encampment.

Camp media liaison Cai Cafiero said Thursday they have noticed an increased presence of the SU officials and Public Safety officers on the quad that has created concern among their supporters.

“The mood has been tense, but the community of our encampment is very committed to maintaining the work that we’ve been doing,” Cafiero said.

Cafiero said they were planning a press conference on Friday afternoon to provide updates on their demands and efforts to meet with the administration.

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Maxine Wallace
A Palestinian flag blows in the wind next to a sign that says calling for a ceasefire.
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Maxine Wallace
Student protesters put up a fallen tent with a sign that reads “Free Gaza Disclose + Divest.”

The demonstrators continued to draw support from other student and community organizations including the Syracuse Graduate Employees United Organizing Committee, Central American Student Association and La L.U.C.H.A.

Following similar efforts at college campuses across the country, pro-Palestinian supporters established the camp on April 29 on the quad near the Hendricks Chapel. While most of the camp’s occupation has been peaceful, university officials announced heightened security on the quad following a community rally that encountered opposition in Walnut Park and arrest of a SU parent who confronted the demonstrators at the campsite.