Student organization sets up encampment in Memorial Union Quad

OSU students gather on Memorial Union Quad on May 15, 2024 on Oregon State University campus. The encampment was set up in support of Palestine.
OSU students gather on Memorial Union Quad on May 15, 2024 on Oregon State University campus. The encampment was set up in support of Palestine.
Aisling Gazzo

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include an approximate number of people in the encampment and to include Masha’s status as a student at OSU. We have also removed Masha’s last name for safety concerns. 

Students United for Palestinian Equal Rights organization at Oregon State University assembled an encampment Wednesday in the northwest corner of the Memorial Union quad which gathered approximately 150 people.

SUPER said in an Instagram post that the encampment was made in order to gather support for what they said is a stand for OSU to “divest from this genocide.”

The Associated Students of Oregon State University passed Senate resolution SR-83.09, calling for OSU to divest from any organizations funding Israel on May 9. 

The resolution was sent back due to a technical issue on the ASOSU website, said Senator Narmeen Rashid, the author of resolution SR-83.09.

According to Rashid, she followed protocol and sent SR-83.09 at the appropriate time that was required. However, when it was posted to the ASOSU website, it was not linked correctly which impeded access to the resolution–students were not able to read it.

Rashid did not write the resolution on behalf of ASOSU, and she was the one who filed the injunction on the resolution.

“I believe in the integrity of the resolution, that’s why I filed the injunction,” Rashid said. “It holds merit and that’s why I’m following protocol.”

Rob Odom, vice president of university relations and marketing said that OSU affirms the rights of students to make their voices heard and the university is engaged to listen.

However, Odom also states concerns about how the encampment is set up in the MU quad.

“This protest encampment violates OSU policy, and we have communicated that it’s not permitted,” Odom said. The specific violations were not disclosed.

OSU also released an encampment statement Wednesday. In it, OSU provides resources and statements for students, staff, faculty and community to read and understand OSU’s official stance on the encampment and what is happening with the people in Palestine.

“We will not accept violence or threats of violence, willful destruction of property, discrimination, harassment or hate speech that incites violence or criminal activity toward community members on the basis of nationality, ethnic identity or religious beliefs,” the statement states. 

Masha, a student and one of SUPER’s encampment media coordinators, said they are optimistic about ASOSU passing the resolution again tonight.

“We have an overwhelming amount of support and followers, people come to express their support,” Masha said. “I would say since everything started, we’ve gained an incredible amount of support from students. It’s been great to see.”

ASOSU will hold a vote tonight at 6 p.m. in MU 104 and remotely to decide if SR-83.09 will be recommended again.

The resolution calls for administrators to review OSU’s investment portfolio in totality and to divest funds from companies that “contribute significantly to human rights abuses against Palestinians.”

Sophie Bottum Musa, a SUPER member, said she hopes the resolution will pass again. However, if it doesn’t pass, she said SUPER will plan their next steps: organize and “respond accordingly.”

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    ikkkkieueuueiwiussMay 15, 2024 at 6:49 pm

    Ludicrous statement from OSU admin. There was no mention of the ongoing genocide in Palestine beyond a meaningless “thoughts and prayers” statement.