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Rutgers president defends agreement with pro-Palestinian protesters. Here's more about the deal

Rutgers president defends agreement with pro-Palestinian protesters
Rutgers president defends agreement with pro-Palestinian protesters 02:15

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- There is still plenty of unrest on college campuses in the Tri-State Area and around the country due to the ongoing protests in support of Palestinians.

However, at Rutgers University's New Brunswick campus, things are back to normal after a deal was made to end the encampment.

Students spent Tuesday finishing up final exams. It was a major shift from last week, when protesters built up a massive encampment on Voorhees Mall and some exams had to be postponed.

"The word got out. I mean, Rutgers reacted well. I think it all went peacefully," student Michael Lynch said.

Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway addressed the school's board of governors in a special meeting on Monday, just a few days after the protesters agreed to break down the encampment.

"I am confident in our decisions. They allowed us to maintain a safe and controlled environment," Holloway said.

Here's what Rutgers agreed to and did not agree to  

The peaceful resolution is the result of Rutgers leadership agreeing to several of the protesters' demands, including accepting 10 Palestinian students displaced by the war in Gaza on scholarship and creating an Arab Cultural Center on campus by the start of the 2024 fall semester.

The university did not agree to divest from companies with ties to Israel or sever its relationship with Tel Aviv University.

The agreement between the protesters and Rutgers leadership is contingent upon no more disruptions or protests breaking out on campus.

Reaction to agreement with protesters mixed

Rutgers has been facing a backlash for negotiating with the protesters, with some lawmakers in Trenton and in Washington, D.C. saying Rutgers leadership caved to the demands.

"Everyone has the right to protest, but what they did was take over public space and block access to certain demographics of our population. And then they were rewarded by negotiations? Totally unacceptable," New Jersey Assemblyman Paul Kanitra said.

Others said more universities should be handling the unrest the way Rutgers did, including Irene Mulvey, president of the American Association of University Professors.

"In my view, that is certainly the way forward. These students should be taken seriously. You should listen to them, understand their demands, and see if compromise can be reached," Mulvey said.

A House Education Committee has asked the president of Rutgers to testify later this month on his handling of the protests. School officials said in a statement, "President Holloway will attend the hearing and discuss with committee members how Rutgers has worked to combat antisemitism, advance our educational mission, and handle protests on campus while prioritizing the safety of our students and community members."

The leaders of Northwestern University and UCLA were also asked to testify for that committee in Washington, D.C.

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