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Pro-Palestine protesters to disband UW encampment in Seattle after university makes concessions

caption: An imprint of a tent is shown in the grass on the University of Washington Quad following an agreement between student protesters and the University to remove the encampment on Friday, May 17, 2024, in Seattle.
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An imprint of a tent is shown in the grass on the University of Washington Quad following an agreement between student protesters and the University to remove the encampment on Friday, May 17, 2024, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Protest organizers at the University of Washington in Seattle have agreed to voluntarily disband their encampment by 3 p.m. on Monday, according to reporting by the UW Daily.

Organizers of the Popular University for Gaza encampment say they have reached an agreement with UW.

RELATED: UW president repeats call for pro-Palestinian camp to disband following graffiti, vandalism on campus

Protesters secured promises from the University of Washington, according to Sofia Schwarzwalder, news editor of the UW Daily.

  • UW will open a Center for Scholarship of Palestine.
  • UW will convene a military industrial and labor task force.
  • They will have representation on a divestment committee.

In addition: A statement from the group says UW leadership has agreed to waive tuition for 20 displaced students from Gaza, and review study-abroad programs that exclude Palestinian or other Arab students.

Schwarzwalder said a community meeting is scheduled for later on Friday.

Representatives of the group said they are under no illusions that this is a win, as their hope is for Palestinian liberation.

Shortly after the announcement Friday, UW President Ana Marie Cauce released the following statement:

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Earlier this week, I wrote to you about the tent encampment in the Seattle campus Quad, including the escalating safety concerns the longer it persisted and the sometimes vile rhetoric employed that created a very unwelcoming environment. I shared how I and other University leaders continued to engage in dialogue to achieve a resolution that would result in the encampment’s voluntary departure in order to avoid the need for police interventions like those we have seen at other universities.

I’m writing to share that through serious and constructive conversations we have reached just such a resolution. It is consistent with our University’s values, shared governance, and state and federal law. It reiterates that the University will follow its policies for the management of its endowment, which includes a clear process for when and how we consider divestment, and commit to transparency regarding investments and certain funding sources. Key elements include committing to steps to create a more inclusive University by addressing concerns over Islamophobia and regarding potential discrimination related to study abroad. And it will extend our policies supporting students from disaster areas to include students from Gaza, among other commitments.

In turn, the United Front for Palestinian Liberation will depart from the Quad by 3 p.m., Monday, May 20, and not reestablish an encampment in the future. The University will forgo referrals for citations or conduct violations for camping. Any other violations of law and policy, such as for vandalism, harassment or discrimination, will continue to be investigated and acted on accordingly.

You can read the full details of this resolution in the linked document. We will be closely observing the withdrawal of the encampment, recognizing that there may be individuals, particularly from outside the UW community, who refuse to depart. We will address any such refusals appropriately to ensure the full return to a safe environment for our students and community. Additionally, the work of the University task forces on antisemitism and Islamophobia will continue. A survey on these issues is open until May 24, and you can find the link to take it at the task forces’ website. As I noted earlier this week, over the course of my nearly forty years at the University, I have always sought to address student concerns through constructive engagement. That is the only way to achieve true, lasting change, and it is consistent with our mission as an educational institution. I’m pleased to reach this resolution so that our campus can begin to heal – including by coming together for Commencement next month – and so that once again all UW community members, regardless of religion, race or national origin, can live, learn and work without fear.


Ana Mari Cauce


Professor of Psychology


This report was updated to include a statement from University of Washington President Ana Marie Cauce.

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