🔴 Jonathan Holloway acknowledged receiving thousands of emails about agreement

🔴 Rep. Chris Smith said Holloway will testify before Congress

🔴 Princeton's pro-Palestinian sit-in continues as its leaders meet with the president

Rutgers University President Jonathan Holloway remains confident of his handling of the pro-Palestinian encampment at Rutgers despite detractors characterizing the university as caving into the demonstrator's demands.

At Princeton University, meanwhile, pro-Palestine protesters remain frustrated with the Ivy League school's response.

During a special meeting of the Rutgers University Board of Governors on Monday, Holloway said he has received “thousands” of emails on the agreement, which he said allowed the school to maintain a “safe and controlled environment” that protected students and allowed final exams to proceed.

"People have said we should not have engaged in discussions with the protestors. What I say to that is that we talked with Rutgers students. They asked for consideration of several requests that concern academic and student affairs — a cultural center, trainings, course offerings. The chancellor’s Advisory Council on Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian Life, comprised of faculty, staff, and students, will address those requests," Holloway said in prepared remarks.

The demand to divest from Israel is under consideration per university policy on investment decisions. Holloway also said that the demand to end the school’s partnership with Tel Aviv University will not be met.

"We were asked to sever that relationship. We will not. Period," Holloway said. He added that the demand to establish a relationship with Birzeit University has already been met. A relationship has been in place since 2022.

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Rep. Chris Smith at the Rutgers College Avenue encampment 5/2/24
Rep. Chris Smith at the Rutgers College Avenue encampment 5/2/24 (Rep. Chris Smith)

Smith: Rutgers must commit to combat the antisemitic threats

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J. 4th District,  said he spoke with Holloway via phone on Monday. The congressman said he was still concerned about the agreement “given their egregious history of antisemitism and its failure to protect Jewish students.”

“Rutgers must absolutely commit to combat the antisemitic threats that have been escalating against Jewish students on campus,” Smith said in a statement.

Holloway will testify before Congress as part of its investigation into antisemitism on college campuses. Smith said the school has submitted 80,000 pages worth of documents but "the vast majority" has not been helpful to the investigation.

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Demands of encampment at Princeton University encampment
Demands of encampment at Princeton University encampment (@princetondivestnow via Instagram)

Encampment leaders say Princeton gave them nothing

Leaders of the encampment at Princeton University said on their Instagram page Tuesday that Princeton Public Safety took down tarps protecting hunger strike participants on its fifth day.

"Princeton public safety officers came to our encampment and demanded that we to take down the makeshift tarp used to shelter our hunger strikers from the wind, rain, cold, and disease. Princeton is intentionally putting vulnerable students at risk. We keep us safe," organizers wrote on their Instagram page.

Princeton Campus Life Vice President W. Rochelle Calhoun, in a statement before the encampment began, said that tents are not allowed to be erected on campus because they are "inherently unsafe" for both those involved and for bystanders. The encampment turned into a sit-in on its first day as a result.

"They increase the potential for escalation and confrontation. They are also inconsistent with the University’s mission and its legal obligation to provide a safe environment for all students and employees," Calhoun wrote.

Leaders of the encampment had their first meeting with President Christopher Eisgruber Monday about their demands including divestment from Israel.

According to a statement from the university, Eisgruber said that divestment is a rare occurrence and would be considered only with input from the entire university community. He also said that protesters who tried to takeover Clio Hall need to be held accountable.

The protesters said in a video clip on their Instagram that they got “nothing” from Eisgruber and he “did not care.”

The protest will hold a march on Nassau Hall on Tuesday afternoon following Israel’s attack on Rafah on Monday.

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