The pro-Palestinian sit-in continued through the weekend at Princeton University as protesters sat on Cannon Green in the rain protected only by umbrellas and tarps while criticism grew of the agreement reached by Rutgers University to end its encampment.

Protesters said on their social media the university was “actively endangering students” by not allowing tents to be erected in order to shelter against the weather in the Princeton Gaza Solidarity Encampment.

The protest was originally planned as an encampment when it started April 30 but was turned into a sit-in to comply with university policy that prohibits tents in public areas.

"While counter-protestors tore down our signs last night, public safety officers repeatedly harassed us, refusing to let us rest. Disgusting — Princeton continues to actively endanger its students. What is so threatening about a student trying to stay warm," the group Princeton Israeli Apartheid Divest wrote on its X account.

Joining the sit-in was a hunger strike by some participants on Friday. They vowed to abstain from all food and drink until the school meets with them to discuss their demands to divest from Israel and drop criminal charges against those who have been arrested during the sit-in.

Over 120 Princeton University faculty members signed a letter calling for Vice President W. Rochelle Calhoun’s resignation following her description of the takeover of Clio Hall that led to 13 arrests. She said staff and students "found themselves surrounded, yelled at, threatened, and ultimately ordered out of the building."

"We demand the immediate resignation of VP Calhoun, in whose leadership we have lost all faith following her untruthful and, in our opinion, deliberately misleading representation of student protesters, that has proven to be the real threat to the Princeton University community," reads the letter.

President Christopher Eisgruber defended Calhoun as "an exemplary vice president for campus life, among the best in all of higher education.”

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Voorhees Mall at Rutgers University after a pro-Palestinian encampment
Voorhees Mall at Rutgers University after a pro-Palestinian encampment (Hannah Gross, NJ Spotlight News)

Calls for Rutgers president, xhancellor to resign

Criticism grew against Rutgers University’s negotiated end to a pro-Palestinian encampment. The Jewish Federation of New Jersey is calling for President Jonathan Holloway and Rutgers-New Brunswick Chancellor Francine Conway to revoke the agreement.

"While I understand the importance of addressing student grievances, this decision is tantamount to institutionally sanctioned antisemitism. It is shameful. It is wrong. And it is a message of surrender and capitulation to bullies," the Federation wrote in a letter that it is asking the Jewish community to send Holloway and Conway. "If you do not revoke the agreement, I ask you both to resign your positions immediately. Our state university cannot be led by those who allow such a hateful educational statement to stand."

In a separate letter intended for State Senate President Scutari and Assembly Speaker Coughlin, the group calls for an investigation of the discussions that led to the agreement.

The school agreed to 8 of 10 demands with the promise to revisit the two largest demands, the university’s divestment from Israel and an end to a partnership with Tel Aviv University.

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Demands of the SPJ met by Rutgers
Demands of the SPJ met by Rutgers (Canva)

Report: A plan to protect Rutgers protesters

NJ Spotlight News reported that things could have gone differently after Rutgers set a deadline on Thursday for the encampment to end but before an agreement was reached.

Approximately 100 faculty members were prepared to encircle the encampment if Rutgers police had moved in to break up the protest. Organizers had created a "jail support system" and were ready to record arrests on video and offer support to those arrested.

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