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FAS Dean Hopi Hoekstra Takes Victory Lap After Harvard Yard Encampment Ends Peacefully | News

Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Hopi E. Hoekstra praised the university’s interim president, Alan M. Garber ’76, for his handling of the pro-Palestinian encampment and called for “genuine dialogue and significant” in his first public statement on the occupation which lasted almost three weeks. of Harvard Yard which ended Tuesday morning.

Hoekstra’s email, which appeared to be written as much for donors as for students, allowed Garber to take a victory lap by declaring that his management of the camp allowed it to end “peacefully and without police intervention,” while noting that such a resolution was “anything but assured.”

As part of the agreement to end the encampment, Hoekstra and Garber promised to meet with members of Harvard Out of Occupied Palestine, the group that organized the encampment, to discuss their thoughts on the war in Israel and elsewhere. Gaza.

Hoekstra wrote that she intended to have conversations with Garber on “academic issues related to long-standing conflicts in the Middle East.”

Like Garber, whose own statement lamented “the tragic effects of the ongoing war,” Hoekstra did not directly mention the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, referring only to “the humanitarian crisis.”

“We began the spring semester with a commitment to dialogue and strengthening the bonds that bind us together as a community,” she wrote. “With these events, this commitment has only deepened. »

HOOP members indicated in an Instagram post announcing the end of the camp that they intended to discuss the possibility of forming a Palestinian studies center with Hoekstra and Garber. Harvard leaders have given no indication that they are willing to move forward with HOOP’s concrete demands.

Although the protest took place just steps from University Hall, which is home to Hoekstra and other FAS administrators, Hoekstra did not comment publicly on the protest during its 20 days. She briefly addressed the camp at last week’s FAS meeting, while inviting interim provost John F. Manning ’82 to make a more substantive statement.

Hoekstra’s email followed an earlier email from Garber, which outlined the terms he and protesters had agreed to to end the occupation of the construction site.

HOOP agreed to end its encampment Tuesday morning in exchange for reinstatement of students placed on involuntary leave and a conversation with a member of the Harvard Corporation — the university’s highest governing body — about disclosure. and divestment of endowments.

At other Boston schools – including Northeastern University, Emerson College and MIT – pro-Palestinian encampments have been subject to police crackdowns, leading to more than 200 arrests across the city.

The Harvard-brokered resolution aligns more closely with responses from Northwestern University and Brown University, where protesters dismantled their encampments after reaching agreements with university administrators.

The terms of the negotiated end to the encampment, however, were nearly identical to the initial offer Garber made to HOOP members last week. While it’s still a compromise, it’s unclear whether the agreement will draw a backlash from professors and donors who have urged Garber not to grant protesters’ demands.

Hoekstra praised Harvard staff who “worked around the clock” during the encampment to make its resolution “possible.” She specifically thanked staff members who worked “to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone in the courtyard” and thanked teachers for their “insights, advice and support.”

“These events took place directly across the street from University Hall, the historic home of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences,” she wrote. “On behalf of the FAS, I express to them my sincere and lasting gratitude. »

—Editor Tilly R. Robinson can be reached at tilly.robinson@thecrimson.com. Follow her on @tillyrobin.

—Editor Neil H. Shah can be reached at neil.shah@thecrimson.com. Follow him on @neilhshah15.

News Source : www.thecrimson.com
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