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SUNY Purchase protest encampment broken up by university police, school says

The removal comes after the school said protesters ignored the student code of conduct and quiet hours for finals week.

News 12 Staff

May 5, 2024, 9:00 PM

Updated 48 days ago


A protest encampment that SUNY Purchase students set on campus was removed by university police Sunday morning.
According to the school, encampments were removed at 9:30 a.m.
The removal comes after the school said protesters ignored the student code of conduct and quiet hours for finals week.
The school said no arrests were made in the latest demonstration.
The school explained that an encampment violates existing college policies.
At least 70 protestors were arrested Friday night when police were called in to break up an encampment on campus.
News 12 attempted to speak with students about the protestors efforts and what they wanted to accomplish but they did not want to speak to the media.
One student, however told News 12 they were threatened with suspension for taking part in the protest.
SUNY Purchase released a statement, saying students participating in protests were reminded over the past several days that they may assemble protests, vigils, rallies and other free speech activities but only up to the start of quiet hours.
In a statement the school said in part, "Quiet hours are especially important during finals as they respect the rights of Purchase students to sleep, prepare for finals, and complete their final projects."
The statement went on to say, "Protestors were also invited multiple times to meet with the president and cabinet members to voice their concerns, as long as campus rules were followed, including dispersing at midnight from the protest last night. The protestors chose not to take the offer."
News 12's Sunday afternoon coverage on the dismantling of the protest encampment and SUNY Purchase's earlier school statements.
Parent Lori Deutsch's daughter watched the protests from her dorm room window.
"I started to get texts from her that she had concerns of fire alarms were going off, police were everywhere, and she was frightened," Deutsch said.
Although her daughter was not involved in the protests, Deutsch says she and her family are frustrated by the lack of updates from the college.
"I kept looking for the school to reach out and tell us something. I mean, we have to know. Parents can see what's going on -- there's news coverage, [but] no communication," she added.
The school did issue a statement Sunday morning that reads in part, "Students who did not adhere to our policies on time, place, and manner of protest will go through the student conduct process which includes interim suspension. Due to the timing of the semester, an interim suspension may result in protestors' inability to sit for final exams and participate in commencement."
Hours later, SUNY Purchase sent out a campus-wide email that announced the creation of a "protest zone" on the college's great lawn to be used by demonstrators between 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
As of Sunday night, there were no students at the new "free speech zone." However, officials said students can continue protest at the "free speech zone" but they will not be allowed to return to the quad where the encampment was raised on Saturday.

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