The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

“Free-Palestine” student protest held at WSU

Protest resulted in nearly two-hour meeting with university administration

WSU students organized and held an on-campus rally protesting the treatment of Palestinians amid the Israel-Palestine conflict Wednesday.

The rally garnered large support, with many students bringing flags and protest posters in support of the Free Palestine movement. The protest started outside of Bryan Hall and made its way in front of the Compton Union Building, where speeches and chants were heard all across Terrell Mall.

Matthew Strupp, organizer with Palouse Democratic Socialists of America, said at its peak, he believes about 100 protesters attended, although an exact number is hard to guess.

A concensus among the student protesters was that WSU needs to address the situation in an official statement

Strupp said the event had been in planning by DSA as a “Palestine Teach-In” focused on the two speakers, Nick Gier and Rula Awwad-Rafferty, for a few weeks. Upon learning student organizers were planning an action for the same day, they worked to merge the two.

The protest reached a climax with students marching their way to the French Admin Lighty Building while yelling chants such as “Gaza, Gaza don’t you cry, Palestine will never die,” in hopes of speaking with the WSU administration.

Pre-planned speakers, as well as any students who desired to do so, eventually made their way into a speaker’s room in the Admin building, where they held a nearly two-hour conversation with WSU admin, including Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton.

“We’re trying to get the school to spread awareness,” Amira Adam, senior pre-med biology major, said. “They haven’t sent a single email to address this situation and if they have, they have only done it for faculty and staff.”

Adam said that with other issues such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict, they [the University] sent emails addressing the situation and providing resources to all the students. The consensus amongst student protesters was the need for the university to address the situation in an official statement, something that was discussed extensively at the meeting between the university administration and the student protesters.

“We’re hoping for acknowledgment from the university that this situation is even happening, there’s been no public statement regarding the situation on any of the platforms we know the university uses,” Aliyah Ben-Yisrael, sophomore music and comparative ethics studies major, said. Ben-Yisrael is one of the students who helped organize the protest.

At the meeting, emphasis was placed on the importance and necessity of additional action from the university.

The protesters marching through the French Admin Lighty Building in hopes of speaking with the WSU administration.

“We have waited long enough for a statement acknowledging the pain and suffering of these people,” one student speaker said. “WSU students are on their emails daily, and there have been statements on other issues previously, we expect a statement on this.”

According to another student speaker present at the meeting, as an educational institution, it’s WSU’s job to “pull the veil of ignorance” from its students.

“We are asking for a response,” the student said. “As educators, it almost seems like an indifference. With your power and reach, it’s your job to pull this veil from your students. What is this institution going to do to set itself apart?”

According to another student, all the protesters have come together to request that the university acknowledge the truth and provide resources to students struggling amid the conflict.

While in the meeting, Chilton acknowledged that the university has not done enough in response to the crisis. Chilton said she would carry the concern expressed over President Schulz’s former statement to him directly, as he was not present at the meeting.

“We’ll make sure the support resources we have available are made clearer,” Chilton said. The meeting closed with a protester stating “We’re not asking you to step up and condemn Israel, but we are asking for a simple acknowledgment of the situation. I’m not asking you to give the Israel-Palestine conflict special attention, but give it the same attention as other conflicts, with the same sincerity.”

The administration closed the meeting with an acknowledgment that they could do better and asserted they planned to continue the meeting in private for deliberation on an official statement.

“I think it’s important we not let the momentum and solidarity for Palestine let up just because there is a temporary, what they’re calling, pause,” Strupp said. “We can’t let the pressure let up because it’s not just a war that started in October.”

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  • Khaled AltawariDec 1, 2023 at 12:27 pm

    Amazing work! We need the world to understand that there is ongoing genocide. What happened to Ukraine is exactly the same in Gaza and Palestine as whole since the 1948. Thank you WSU, as an institution of education we need to educate our community.

  • AmiraDec 1, 2023 at 11:23 am

    Great job to everyone who was involved and supported this good cause. We are all working hard to spread awareness and educate others and ourselves included. The only way to fight for the justice of others is by acquiring knowledge and sharing it amongst us. When we say never again to injustice in history, it means never again to injustice in the present or the future. Thank you to the editors and staff of the daily evergreen for such a wonderful piece. Cougs help Cougs all around the world!!

  • Pauline R SaloNov 30, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    Awesome that you are protesting. What exactly do you want? A Palestine free of Hamas terrorists that butcher babies and children? I am not clear on what the goal is.

  • William MichaelsNov 30, 2023 at 5:30 pm

    When will our university begin to educate these people? Factually, Palestine doesn’t exist, and factually there are no “Palestinians” any more than there are “Southern Confederates”. Face coverings worn (and the newspaper hiding their faces) tells our community everything we need to know about these cowards. There is no difference between this protest and KKK rallies in Alabama. Shame on WSU for tolerating this.