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Published on May 23, 2024
Drexel University to Resume Regular Operations Amid Ongoing Pro-Palestinian Protest in PhiladelphiaSource: Google Street View

Drexel University is set to resume "normal operations" beginning on Thursday, despite an ongoing pro-Palestinian protest at the University City campus. In a statement obtained by CBS News Philadelphia, President John Fry announced additional security measures and reiterated that courses, lectures, and campus activities would carry on, except for the Korman Center, which will remain closed.

Amid the backdrop of increasing tensions on college campuses, Fry has threatened disciplinary action against Drexel students participating in the protest. The Drexel Palestine Coalition, meanwhile, refuted claims of intimidation and "slander," accusing both Drexel and city police of harassment. In response to the encampment, an Instagram post by the coalition stated, "It is slander to accuse the encampment of 'hateful' or 'intimidating' actions when we have done neither," as per an earlier report from 6abc.

While Drexel's chapters of Hillel and Chabad, two Jewish campus organizations, were also mentioned in protester demands for termination, the move to resume normality comes amidst broader actions against pro-Palestinian encampments that have led to over 3,000 arrests nationwide. According to NBC Philadelphia, pro-Palestinian protesters at Drexel cleared out without incident as the university involved police.

Echoing the heated discourse seen across the country, Drexel's protesters have notably called for the university to divest from companies that do business with Israel and have demanded an abolition of the Drexel police department. These campus movements have rippled outward, prompting leaders from Northwestern University, Rutgers University, and the chancellor of the University of California, Los Angeles, to testify at a House Committee on Education and the Workforce hearing regarding concessions made to end demonstrations. The urgings for a ceasefire in Gaza from university administrations seem to intersect with the larger context of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which has resulted in devastating loss of life on both sides.