Stay Updated on Developing Stories

April 25, 2024 - US university protests

What we covered here

2:11 a.m. ET, April 26, 2024

Our live coverage of the pro-Palestinian protests on US campuses has moved here.
1:18 a.m. ET, April 26, 2024

Progress in negotiations between Columbia protesters and administrators, university says

Negotiations between Columbia University administrators and pro-Palestinian protesters who've been occupying a campus lawn with a sprawling encampment "have shown progress and are continuing as planned," the school said in a statement late Thursday.
"For several days, a small group of faculty, administrators, and University Senators have been in dialogue with student organizers to discuss the basis for dismantling the encampment, dispersing, and following University policies going forward," the university said.

"We have our demands; they have theirs."

The university also denied rumors that the NYPD had been called to campus, calling them "false."

Some context: Columbia announced late Tuesday that it had given protesters a midnight deadline to agree to dismantle their encampment. But the university then said early Wednesday that it had extended the talks for another 48 hours. If no agreement is reached, the school has said it will consider "alternative options," which many protesters have interpreted to mean calling in police to clear the site.
11:53 p.m. ET, April 25, 2024

Protests continue at campuses across the US as more arrests are announced. Here’s the latest

A wave of pro-Palestinian campus protests is rippling across the US, with hundreds of people arrested at universities throughout the country this week.
At New York's Columbia University, the epicenter of the demonstrations, protesting students said they won’t disperse until the school agrees to cut ties with Israeli academic institutions and disinvest its funds from entities connected to Israel, among other demands. Protesters at other campuses have similar demands.
The campus encampments spreading across the nation have brought together students from a variety of backgrounds — including Palestinians, Arabs, Jews and Muslims — to decry Israel's bombardment of Gaza.
Here are the latest developments:
Columbia University: The faculty senate is expected to vote on a resolution admonishing the school’s president, Minouche Shafik, on Friday over several of her decisions, according to The New York Times. Shafik has faced criticism for authorizing police to shut down student protests on campus.
Brown University: The university identified about 130 students who it alleges violated a school conduct code that forbids encampments on campus. Students found responsible will be disciplined depending on their behavior and other factors, including any prior conduct violations, the university said.
Emory University: 28 people were arrested, including 20 Emory community members, during a protest at the school, Vice President for Public Safety Cheryl Elliott said. Troopers deployed pepper balls “to control the unruly crowd” during the protest, Georgie State Patrol said. A group of Democratic Georgia state lawmakers condemned the “excessive force used by Georgia State Patrol” during arrests at Emory.
Emerson College: More than 100 people were arrested and four police officers injured during an encampment clearing at the Boston liberal arts college, according to the Boston Police Department. President Jay Bernhardt said he recognized and respected "the civic activism and passion that sparked the protest" after dozens of arrests.
Indiana University: At least 33 people were detained on campus Thursday following encampment protests.
George Washington University: DC Metropolitan Police were asked to assist in relocating an “unauthorized protest encampment” on campus, university president Ellen M. Granberg said. The decision came "after multiple instructions made by GWPD to relocate to an alternative demonstration site on campus went unheeded by encampment participants," she said.
University of Southern California: The university canceled its main commencement ceremony next month, citing "new safety measures in place.” Nearly 100 people have been arrested on the campus.
University of California, Los Angeles: A "demonstration with encampments" formed at UCLA on Thursday.
Northeastern University: An encampment formed at Northeastern University in Boston, where dozens of protesters were seen forming a human chain around several tents. 
Other campuses: Since last Thursday, several campuses have been protest sites, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Texas at Austin, University of Michigan, University of New Mexico, University of California, Berkeley, Yale University, and Harvard University.

11:34 p.m. ET, April 25, 2024

Protesters at the University of Texas at Austin asked to disperse at 10 p.m.

Protesters at the University of Texas at Austin were asked to leave the campus's South Mall at 10 p.m. local time, university spokesperson Brian Davis told CNN.

No arrests have been made as of 10 p.m., Davis said.

"There is no curfew on campus. Leadership asked that students clear the South Mall at 10 p.m."
Just last night, more than 30 demonstrators were arrested after UT Austin police issued a dispersal at the school.
11:53 p.m. ET, April 25, 2024

Protesters at Ohio State University arrested after refusing to disperse, university says

Protestors wave Palestinian flags and call for Ohio State University to divest investment in businesses linked to Israel at a demonstration outside the Ohio Union on April 25. Cole Behrens/USA Today

Demonstrators at Ohio State University were arrested on Thursday night after refusing to disperse, according to university spokesperson Benjamin Johnson.

Johnson did not know how many arrests were made.

“Well established university rules prohibit camping and overnight events. Demonstrators exercised their first amendment rights for several hours and were then instructed to disperse. Individuals who refused to leave after multiple warnings were arrested and charged with criminal trespass,” he said.
11:23 p.m. ET, April 25, 2024

Columbia University senate is redrafting resolution to admonish school's president, New York Times reports

Columbia University’s faculty senate is expected to vote Friday on a resolution admonishing embattled school president Minouche Shafik over several of her recent decisions, including calling in police to clear a student encampment last week, the New York Times reports.

The resolution would allow the school senate to avoid a censure vote during a critical time for the school, the Times reports, citing several unnamed senators who attended a closed-door meeting Wednesday. Some feared a censure vote would be perceived as giving in to Republican lawmakers, according to the paper.

A Columbia University spokesperson confirmed Shafik’s closed-door meeting with the senate on Wednesday but would not comment on the resolution to CNN.

 “The President met with the Senate plenary in a closed-door session for close to an hour, giving remarks and taking questions. She reiterated the shared goal of restoring calm to campus so everyone can pursue their educational activities.” 
Some context: Shafik has faced immense criticism from some students, faculty and Democratic lawmakers for her decision to authorize police to break up pro-Palestinian student protests last week— a move that resulted in more than 100 arrests.

Other students, Jewish advocacy groups and Republican lawmakers are slamming Shafik for not cracking down on protests — which they say have included antisemitic rhetoric — both on campus and outside its gates.

Several Republicans, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, have called for Shafik to resign.

CNN’s Maria Sole Campinoti contributed to this report.
11:48 p.m. ET, April 25, 2024

What to know about the protests erupting on college campuses across the US

Colleges across the country have erupted with pro-Palestinian protests, and school administrators are trying — and largely failing — to defuse the situation.

Several schools have called the police on protesters, leading to the arrests of hundreds across US campuses.

The recent surge in protests have inflamed tensions among students, forcing leadership to decide when free speech on campus crosses a line. The atmosphere was so charged that officials at Columbia – the epicenter of the protests that began last week – announced students can attend classes virtually starting Monday.

Passover, a major Jewish holiday, began this week, heightening fears among a number of Jewish students who have reported hearing antisemitic comments at some of the protests. The anxiety comes as reports of antisemitic acts have surged across America since October 7.
When did the protests start?
The situation escalated last week at Columbia University, where encampments were organized by Columbia University Apartheid Divest, a student-led coalition of more than 100 organizations, including Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace, to protest what they describe as the university’s “continued financial investment in corporations that profit from Israeli apartheid, genocide, and military occupation of Palestine,” according to its news release.
What are they asking for?

Columbia protesters say they won’t disperse until the school commits to a “complete divestment” of its funds from entities connected to Israel.

Other protesters are similarly calling on their campuses to divest from companies that sell weapons, construction equipment, technology services and other items to Israel.

Where else are protests happening?
Since last Thursday, a slew of campuses have had protests and encampments, as well as arrests. That includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Texas at Austin, University of Michigan, University of New Mexico and University of California, Berkeley.
Police arrested nearly 100 protesters at the University of Southern California Wednesday after a dispersal order.

At Emerson College, more than 100 people were arrested Wednesday during a pro-Palestinian protest, according to the Boston Police Department.

Yale University police arrested at least 45 protesters Monday on suspicion of criminal trespassing, though dozens remained Tuesday.

Harvard University officials suspended a pro-Palestinian student organization for allegedly violating school policies.

Read more here.
12:29 a.m. ET, April 26, 2024

Brown University says about 130 students violated school policy banning encampments

Brown University has identified about 130 students who it alleges violated a school conduct code that forbids encampments on campus, a university spokesperson said.

The university's Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards has notified the students, who were identified through ID checks, spokesperson Brian Clark said in a release.

An encampment of about 90 people had formed on the school's Providence, Rhode Island campus Wednesday morning, according to Brown.

"Encampment on Brown University’s historic and residential greens is a violation of University policy, and participants in the encampment have been verbally informed of this fact and that they will face conduct proceedings,” the school's release said.

Students found responsible will be disciplined depending on their behavior and other factors, including any prior conduct violations, the university said, noting students could face probation or separation from the school.

“The University continues to ask individuals in or in immediate proximity to the encampment to present their Brown IDs for two reasons: to verify association with Brown for safety and security reasons, and to appropriately address potential violations of policy."
1:08 a.m. ET, April 26, 2024

Protesters at Emory University briefly clash with police

A confrontation between Emory University protesters and police resulted in officers being pressed up against a building on campus. WSB

Protesters briefly clashed with police at Emory University in Georgia on Thursday, the university told CNN.

A confrontation between protesters and police outside the school's Candler School of Theology prompted an "increased law enforcement presence" on campus, according to the university.

"A group of about 100 people left the Quad and marched to the Candler School of Theology, where some protesters pinned police officers against building doors and attempted to access the building," the university said.

"The crowd ultimately returned to the Quad before dispersing."

Video from CNN affiliate WSB shows some protesters using large posters to push into a line of police officers whose backs are against the doors of the building. As officers push back against the posters, one demonstrator chucks their sign at the row of officers.