UC Riverside Becomes First UC Campus To Reach Deal With Pro-Palestine Protestors

Administrators at the University of California, Riverside reached a deal with pro-Palestine student protestors Friday to end their encampment and agree to their demands.

Students at UC Riverside organized a sit-in on campus on April 29 demand that their university disclose investments and funding linked to Israel and divest from companies and institutions that are “complicit in the Israeli occupation, apartheid, and genocide” of Palestinians.

In the agreement reached with student leaders Friday, UC Riverside stated that the college will take steps to be transparent about its investments. With students, it will also “explore the removal” of its endowment from the broader University of California system’s investment office and the reinvestment of it “in a manner that will be financially and ethically sound for the university with consideration to the companies involved in arms manufacturing and delivery.”

The university’s business school has also discontinued its study abroad programs to Israel.

“This agreement does not change the realities of the war in Gaza, or the need to address antisemitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of bias and discrimination; however, I am grateful that we can have constructive and peaceful conversations on how to address these complex issues,” UCR Chancellor Kim Wilcox said in a statement sent to faculty and staff on Friday night.

The chancellor did not respond to HuffPost’s request for additional comment.

“This is not the end of UCR’s complicity, and we will continue to hold our admin accountable. This is a step closer towards a liberated Palestine,” the UCR chapter of Students for Justice In Palestine wrote in a social media post.

“Our work is not done. Innocent people are still dying, enduring displacement, and suffering. This is a small victory in many, many more to come,” the group said in a separate post.

Colleges across the country, including 10 UC campuses, have set up encampments and demonstrations on their campuses over recent weeks to protest Israel’s war in Gaza and to demand that their schools divest from Israeli institutions and companies. The University of California system overall has opposed calls to boycott and divest from Israel, saying it “impinges on the academic freedom of our students and faculty and the unfettered exchange of ideas on our campuses.”

UCR is the first UC school where campus officials have reached a peaceful resolution with the student protestors, joining at least threeothers nationwide.

Last week, more than 200 UCLA students, faculty and staff were arrested at a Palestinian solidarity encampment on campus that was destroyed by police.

Similar police responses have fueled unrest at other pro-Palestine student protests across the country. More than 2,100 people have been arrested at these protests on college campuses nationwide, according to an Associated Press tally last week.