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With University of Pennsylvania's graduation two weeks away, pro-Palestinian protesters remain, and negotiations continue

Pro-Palestinian protesters at University of Pennsylvania say they'll remain until demands are met
Pro-Palestinian protesters at University of Pennsylvania say they'll remain until demands are met 02:40

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It's been almost two weeks, and pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Pennsylvania are staying true to their word and standing their ground.

"We remain steadfast in these camps until our demands are met and until we walk away knowing the people of Gaza are heard," Temple graduate student Nada said. 

Spokespeople for the encampment told CBS News Philadelphia they have been meeting with university administration and feel they are making progress.

"So we are going to continue this process with them and hope they are willing to negotiate with us moving forward," Cece, a Penn graduate student, said. 

The university's interim President Dr. Larry Jameson said on Monday that administrators have asked protestors in the encampment to disband but they have refused.

He said in part, "The encampment should end. It is in violation of our policies, it is disrupting campus operations and events, and it is causing fear for many in our large, diverse community, especially among our Jewish students."

Jason Holtzman from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia said the university "needs to take action and remove the encampment to show the Jewish students that they care about them too." Some students don't feel safe on campus, he said.

"We have continued to tell them to let the university know. Let the university know how this is affecting them, how it's making it harder for them to study, to do what they are here to do — to get an education," Holtzman said. 

On some campuses around the country, including the University of California, Los Angeles, university leaders have called in police to break up pro-Palestinian protests. Protesters briefly interrupted a graduation ceremony at the University of Michigan over the weekend, and several protesters were arrested near the Met Gala in New York City Monday night, CBS News reports.

In the meantime at Penn, it's finals week, and graduation is right around the corner on May 20.

As for what's next, those who are part of the encampment say they will continue negotiations.

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