Pro-Palestine ‘sit-in’ at UT Dallas administration building dispersed, school says

The students began a protest outside the campus administration building but then occupied the property’s interior when their demands to leadership were ‘ignored.’

RICHARDSON, Texas — Dozens of students (roughly 100) from the University of Texas at Dallas occupied the campus’ administration building Tuesday evening after leaders on the campus failed to ‘meet their demands’ about the ongoing conflict in the Middle East between Israel, Hamas, and the innocent citizens of Gaza who have been killed in the middle of it all, organizers told WFAA. 

The students sat in the hallway leading to the campus president’s office. Pizza was brought, and several students could be seen working on homework as campus police hovered around them late Tuesday evening. 

The group had dispersed as of Thursday evening, the school says. 

“Student protestors have dispersed, and the UT Dallas President is planning to meet with Palestinian students to hear their thoughts,” a statement from the school reads. “The President is also planning to meet with a Jewish student group for the same purpose.”

The students began with an outdoor protest outside the building but then occupied its interior after the dean of students attempted to speak with the group to ‘shut down their action’ per a press release. 

From WFAA’s own observation, the sit-in was peaceful and far from what’s happening on other college campuses across the nation regarding the topic. 

Still, the group of students were demanding the following from the university per a press release: 

  • Reject the anti-Palestinian Executive Order from Governor Abbott and threats against the Students for Justice in Palestine’s freedom of speech affirming students.
  • Release a public statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. 
  • Divest from corporations associated with the university that are complicit and facilitating war. 

A spokesperson for the group told WFAA that they had never started a ‘sit-in’ before and that they were planning to stay in the building as long as they could. 

There are also demonstrations spreading on college campuses across the country.

Columbia University canceled in-person classes and police arrested dozens of students at New York University and Yale as tensions over Israel’s war with Hamas continue to grow.

Jewish students at Columbia University feel some protests have veered from pro-Palestinian to antisemitic. 

House Speaker Mike Johnson will travel to New York on Wednesday to visit with some of the Jewish students. He’s expected to hold a press conference on campus.

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