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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Student organization coalition condemns university’s handling of encampment

Jessica Xing
Police officers dismantle the pro-Palestine encampment on Centennial Common April 27. A coalition of over 100 Northeastern student organizations signed on to a statement addressed to campus administration condemning the university’s response to the encampment.

A coalition of over 100 student organizations at Northeastern has signed on to a statement addressed to campus administration condemning the university’s response to the pro-Palestine encampment erected on Centennial Common April 25.

“We represent a coalition of student organizations at Northeastern University, spanning a spectrum of interests,” the letter sent to The News reads. “We write to express our condemnation of and disappointment in the University’s actions regarding recent events on our campus.”

The student organizations that signed on to the letter are calling themselves the Northeastern Student Organization Coalition. One hundred and thirty four student organizations “and counting” have joined the coalition and signed the letter, the coalition told The News in an email Tuesday. Several organizations posted the letter to their Instagram pages. When the coalition sent the letter to Northeastern administration the morning of April 29, it had 92 signatures.

In the statement, the coalition said that Northeastern “spread false information” pertaining to the use of hate speech. In a prior statement to The News regarding the arrest of protesters, Vice President for Communications Renata Nyul said “the use of virulent antisemitic slurs, including ‘Kill the Jews,’ crossed the line” and the university “cannot tolerate this kind of hate on our campus.”

“In truth, the encampment never tolerated hate speech and instead fostered a safe environment for Jewish students protesting the inhumane killing of innocent civilians,” the coalition’s statement reads.

The coalition also said in its statement that Northeastern escalated the situation by closing campus buildings, shutting off the power to Centennial and ignoring the safety of chronically ill and disabled protesters.

“Northeastern has a responsibility to keep its students safe and protect free expression, and its hostile response to peaceful demonstrators is unacceptable,” the coalition said in the statement.

The coalition listed five demands for the administration in its statement and said its goal is to ensure that Northeastern can be a place where voices are heard.

It is calling on the university to “cease any university disciplinary action towards the Northeastern students that participated in the encampment on Centennial Common during the dates of April 25-27; discontinue further arrests and disciplinary action towards those participating in the student encampment and future peaceful protests; retract and acknowledge the University’s official statements which created a harmful and untrue narrative of antisemitism within the student movement and commit to accurate and transparent messaging moving forward; recognize the distinction between anti-Zionism and antisemitism; and engage with the liberated zone’s demands regarding the need for disclosure and divestment with the understanding that administration is responsible for taking students’ demands seriously.”

Citing quotes in the Code of Student Conduct pertaining to “basic privileges” and “responsibilities of all citizens,” the coalition called on the university to uphold the rights aligned with the aforementioned privileges, including those to free speech and assembly.

“As students, we are committed to upholding the values of respect, understanding and inclusivity that our university espouses,” the coalition said in the statement. “We firmly believe that peaceful protests and demonstrations are not only consistent with these values but are also essential for fostering a culture of active citizenship and social responsibility among students.”

Organizations that signed the letter include Divest Northeastern, Northeastern University Students for Justice in Palestine, Northeastern University School of Law Students for Justice in Palestine and the Northeastern chapter of Young Democratic Socialists of America.

Several non-political clubs signed the letter as well, including WRBB Radio, Interrobang Poets, NU Mural Club and the Northeastern Student Garden Club.

In the email to The News, the coalition said organizations signed on with approval from their executive boards. “Individuals within organizations spread the statement to their own and other organizations’ executive boards for review mainly through word-of-mouth,” the coalition said in the email.

In a separate email to The News, the coalition said “all the student organizations that signed and support this letter do not intend to continue student life and extracurricular activities as normal unless there is a meaningful response from the administration to our concerns and demands.”

About the Contributors
Kristina DaPonte
Kristina DaPonte, Lifestyle Editor
Kristina DaPonte is a third-year journalism major with a minor in communication studies. She is the deputy lifestyle editor for The News as well as a contributor to Spectrum Literary Arts Magazine. She's excited to bring exciting, engaging stories to the table. Follow her @dapontekristina on Twitter for updates.
Jessica Xing
Jessica Xing, Photo Editor
Jessica Xing is a third-year graphic design major with a minor in journalism. She has previously served as deputy photo editor and design editor and is excited to continue working with photographers for The News this semester.
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