UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman in a Tuesday night email sent to the campus community reiterated there are some demands being made by students who have formed a solidarity encampment with Gaza that the university can accommodate, but not others.

Meanwhile, a similar encampment that formed at Chapman University entered its seventh day, with students holding teach-ins, rallies and educational activities in front of Wilkinson Hall.

The Pro-Palestinian protesters at UCI say they will not be leaving the encampment in the Physical Sciences Quad until the university divests from companies with ties to Israel and weapon manufacturers, among other demands.

But Gillman said some of the demands are “inconsistent with fundamental principles and policies of the University of California,” include ending partnerships with Israel and “demands that seek to prevent faculty and students from expressing views and organizing programs on topics relating to Israel, Zionism, or Antisemitism that conflict with these protestors’ views.”

“These demands are not only unreasonable, but the protestors also fail to recognize that the free speech rights they challenge are the same ones that protect their rights to express their own views as part of legitimate protest and advocacy,” Gillman said. “While they feel strongly that views they oppose should not be expressed, I assure you there are also members within our community who view the protestors’ opinions as objectionable, even hateful, and feel they should be censored and punished merely for expressing those views.”

Gillman said demands for transparency on school resources used to address islamophobia and antisemitism and information about investments made by the UCI Foundation would be easy to accommodate.

The encampment remains peaceful, Gilman said, but “there is the possibility that the situation will become more fraught” if the encampment continues to affect the schools learning environment.

Cal State Fullerton students cross the street on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, as they head to the Chancellor’s office to protest the war in Gaza. They want the university to divest in companies that support Israel. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

About two dozen Cal State Fullerton students hold a pro-Palestinian protest at the university on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

About two dozen Cal State Fullerton students hold a pro-Palestinian protest at the university on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)



The Gaza solidarity encampment at Chapman University has also remained peaceful. Students have set up approximately 10 tents near Wilkinson Hall with about 30 students milling about that area during the day, university spokesperson Molly Thrasher said.

Thrasher added that student protesters continue to be in dialogue about their demands with Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jerry Price.

The Students for Justice in Palestine at Chapman University had a teach-in with history lecturer William O’Mara planned Wednesday afternoon, followed by a drag show on pinkwashing and a teach-in on LGBTQ+ politics.

Business remains as usual on campus, Thrasher said, as students finish their last week of classes before finals.

Several student groups, including the Titan Young Democratic Socialists of America, had organized a gathering in solidarity with Palestine for Wednesday afternoon at the Cal State Fullerton campus quad. A couple dozen people participated walking from the campus quad to the president’s office and to the administration building.

The coalition, which also includes Latinx Scholars at CSUF, the Grupo de Teatro en Español and the CSU Students for Quality Education, is asking campus administrators to “divest from death.” In an open letter to CSUF President Sylvia Alva, the group has demanded the university disclose its institutional expenditures and divest from all companies and partnerships which “actively participate in the colonization and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.”

The group said on Instagram that students will continue its protest with an all-day event on Thursday on campus.

Staff photographer Mindy Schauer contributed to this report.

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