The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News

The independent student newspaper of Northeastern University

The Huntington News



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Students react to university’s Saturday statement on encampment sweep: ‘Things obviously aren’t back to normal’

Annika Sunkara
A “no trespassing” sign hangs from a barricade around Centennial Common. The area remained blocked off after the encampment was cleared April 27.

Several Northeastern students on campus Saturday afternoon criticized a university statement following the sweep of a Gaza solidarity encampment which announced the campus had been “fully secured” and that “all campus operations have returned to normal.” 

“Admissions tours are taking place … and graduating students are on campus posing for photos with their families,” the statement, which was posted to the university’s social media accounts Saturday at 12:38 p.m., said.

The posts continued by thanking the organizations involved in clearing the encampment and arresting protesters.

“We want to thank NUPD, our Student Life staff and the university’s external partners for their flawless execution this morning,” the statement said.

But students who spoke with The News disagreed with the university’s claim that campus had stabilized. 

“I mean, things obviously aren’t back to normal,” said Colin Sutherland, a graduating civil engineering major. “Centennial is blocked off, pretty much every building is locked. … I am just surprised that they cleared everything out from the one provocateur,” he said, referring to the pro-Israel protester at the encampment who said “kill the Jews” in a confrontation with pro-Palestinian protesters around midnight Saturday.

As Friday marked the last day of final exams, campus thoroughfares like the sidewalks around Centennial were relatively quiet, but prospective and admitted students could be seen walking around with their families, and dozens of Class of 2024 graduates were gathered at Krentzman Quadrangle and Cabot Quad taking graduation photos. Several students taking summer classes or on co-op, who will remain on campus into at least May and June, also walked through campus.  

Another student said they believed the statement reflected Northeastern’s focus on maintaining its reputation. 

“I think it’s so tone-deaf that they would also use us graduating as an excuse to clear them out,” said Poon Singhatiraj, a graduating fifth-year international affairs major. “They just wanted to present an image on campus that I think visiting families would want. I think that the university just cares a lot about image, and I think that the statement speaks to that a lot, and it’s sad.”

Tyler Johnson, a second-year electrical engineering major, said he was not surprised by how the university handled the encampment.  

“I think the university’s response is pretty obvious,” Johnson said. “Raytheon Amphitheater is right here, obviously Northeastern is heavily invested in the military-industrial complex. So them shutting it down is really no surprise, but it’s still disappointing.”

The university’s Saturday afternoon statement said the “community is enjoying the beautiful Boston weather,” which some students found insensitive given the weight of the events that had just occurred.

“I can’t believe they’re like ‘Oh it’s a beautiful day,’” said Erin Stark, a second-year mechanical engineering major. “I don’t care that it’s a beautiful day. There’s something important going on all campuses, and I don’t think that the students on campus right now care about the tours. … I think this just shows the community coming together for Palestine, and that’s something that the university should want to show their tours.”


Editor’s Note: Poon Singhatiraj formerly served as The News’ deputy opinion editor from September 2020 to December 2021.

About the Contributors
Emily Spatz
Emily Spatz, Campus Editor
Emily Spatz is a journalism and political science combined major with a minor in english and campus editor of The News. She is currently a general assignment reporter co-op at and has interned at her hometown newspaper covering business, city events and politics. She hopes to continue bringing pertinent, timely and thorough reporting to the Northeastern community. You can follow her @emilymspatz on X.
Annika Sunkara
Annika Sunkara, Social Media Editor
Annika Sunkara is a second-year journalism major and audiovisual editor of The News. She aspires to continue producing accessible and engaging multimedia content. You can follow her @annika_sunkara on X/Twitter.
Lily Webber, Deputy Campus Editor
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