Statement regarding campus protests on Beinecke Plaza

For the past week, protestors advocating for Yale’s divestment from military weapons manufacturers converged on Hewitt Quadrangle (Beinecke Plaza). Over the weekend, these protests grew to include several hundred people — Yale undergraduates, graduate and professional students, and people with no Yale affiliation. Early this morning, the university again asked protestors to leave and remove their belongings. Before taking this step, the university had notified protestors numerous times that if they continued to violate Yale’s policies and instructions regarding occupying outdoor spaces, they could face law enforcement and disciplinary action, including reprimand, probation, or suspension.

The university also spent several hours in discussion with student protestors yesterday, offering them the opportunity to meet with trustees, including the chair of the Corporation Committee on Investor Responsibility (CCIR), and to avoid arrest if they left the plaza by the end of the weekend. They declined this offer and continued to occupy the plaza. The university extended the deadline for a response to their offer to meet with the CCIR and trustees several times, with negotiations concluding unsuccessfully at 11:30 p.m.

Today, members of Yale’s police department isolated the area and asked protestors to show identification; some left voluntarily. When others did not comply after multiple requests, the Yale Police Department (YPD) issued summonses to 47 students, according to the most recent report from the chief of YPD. Students who were arrested also will be referred for Yale disciplinary action, which includes a range of sanctions, such as reprimand, probation, or suspension.

The university made the decision to arrest those individuals who would not leave the plaza with the safety and security of the entire Yale community in mind and to allow access to university facilities by all members of our community. Yale provides detailed guidance on free expressionpeaceable assembly, and requesting the use of on-campus outdoor spaces. Since the protest started, the university and the Yale Police Department worked to reduce the likelihood of confrontations and arrests.

Yesterday, President Peter Salovey sent a message to the community, noting that the university would not tolerate behavior that interfered with university operations or threatened, harassed, or intimidated others.

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