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"I say reconsider" Auraria CEO says upon hearing of rejection of $15,000 donation by Denver protesters

Colorado students reject offer from Auraria Campus
Colorado students reject offer from Auraria Campus 03:06

A ramshackle community of tents that has overtaken part of the Tivoli Quad remained Thursday night, a week after protestors moved in to demand actions from the schools at Denver's Auraria Campus. They are asking that they step away from any connections with Israel.


 "You will be remembered as having to try to bribe those you are entrusted to educate. Bribe them into complicity with the genocide," cried out protest leader Paul Nelson, a former student, as he addressed the crowd and media Thursday evening. "The amount of money that they've offered us in this bribe is enough to pay for two semesters' worth of classes."

The amount was a $15,000 donation to the International Committee of the Red Cross by a group of donors hoping for an end to the impasse on campus. It would have been made in the name of the Students for a Democratic Society group that is leading the protests. But it required that the protestors remove their encampment by 5 pm. The offer was quickly rejected by the protestors.

"Us organizers are simply organizing to see those demands met," said Khalid Hamu, a senior at University of Colorado Denver and a protest leader.

"Well, I say reconsider," said Auraria Higher Education Center CEO Colleen Walker upon hearing of the rejection. "The students are well aware that they're in violation of our no camping policy. They have had 20 of what I would call successful protests since October. They followed the rules then, they're well aware of those rules."

"So they're ignoring both of those aspects. So it really is up to the students to decide to come to the table and be in discussion."

The protestors are continuing to call for the schools to divest. Only CU Denver has contracts with Israeli entities, and there are no semester abroad programs in the Middle East.

"We have been leaning in from the beginning and now we are leaning in even more," said Walker.


 But the vows to continue remained loud on campus. The schools enter finals next week, followed by graduations on the weekend. Both Metropolitan State University of Denver and CU Denver planned graduations off campus at the Denver Coliseum. Community College of Denver has graduation planned for the other side of the Auraria campus on May 9.

There was no action taken to remove the protestor encampment after the 5 p.m. deadline passed. They remained Thursday night.

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