Brown University to Vote on Divesting from Israeli Interests After Deal with Pro-Palestine Protesters

Brown University to vote on Israel divestment proposal after student protesters agree to end campus encampment, setting a new precedent for campus activism.

Nimrah Khatoon
New Update
Brown University to Vote on Divesting from Israeli Interests After Deal with Pro-Palestine Protesters

Brown University to Vote on Divesting from Israeli Interests After Deal with Pro-Palestine Protesters

Brown University's corporate board will vote in October on a proposal to divest from Israeli interests, a major victory for pro-Palestine student protesters who have taken over dozens of college campuses nationwide. As part of an agreement reached with the university administration, the protesters at Brown will dismantle their encampment and cease demonstrations through the end of the school year.

The deal, described as an "unprecedented win" by protest leaders, allows for a group of five student activists to present their argument for divestment to the university board next month. The board will then vote on the proposal at their October meeting. In exchange, the students agreed to refrain from further conduct code violations, though the university will still pursue disciplinary action against those involved in the encampment.

Brown University President Christina Paxson acknowledged the devastation in the Middle East and the need for meaningful change, while also expressing concerns about the escalation in inflammatory rhetoric and tensions on campuses. "Brown values dialogue and debate, but the encampment violated university policies," Paxson stated.

The agreement comes amid a wave of pro-Palestinian protests that have swept college campuses, with hundreds of students arrested nationwide due to the encampments, some of which have deteriorated into violence between students, counterprotesters, and police. At Columbia University, an autonomous group has reclaimed Hamilton Hall, vowing to remain until their demands for divestment, financial transparency, and amnesty are met.

Why this matters: The agreement at Brown University establishes a new precedent for protest encampments on college campuses and demonstrates a path to finding common ground without resorting to force. The outcome of the October vote could have significant implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the role of universities in the debate.

Under the terms of the deal, the Brown Divest Coalition will clear their encampment on the College Green by 5 p.m. EDT on Tuesday. The university has agreed to invite five coalition leaders to a May meeting to present their arguments for divesting Brown's endowment from companies they accuse of "enabling and profiting from genocide in Gaza." The Advisory Committee on University Resources Management will prepare a recommendation on the divestment issues by September 30 to be discussed by the university's corporation in October, regardless of the outcome of their review process.

Key Takeaways

  • Brown Univ. to vote in Oct. on proposal to divest from Israeli interests.
  • Student protesters to dismantle encampment, cease demonstrations until year-end.
  • 5 student activists to present divestment argument to Univ. board in Oct.
  • Univ. to pursue disciplinary action against encampment participants.
  • Outcome of Oct. vote could impact Israeli-Palestinian conflict and universities' role.