Drexel returning to normal operations Thursday amid pro-Palestinian campus protest

President John Fry has repeatedly called on protesters to disband since the encampment started Saturday night.

protesters on drexel campus

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters marched from City Hall toward University City on Saturday. They linked arms and encircled a group of people setting up tents on Drexel University's campus. (Emily Neil/WHYY News)

Campus Gaza protests: What to know

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

Drexel University will return to normal operations Thursday as a pro-Palestinian encampment remains on campus.

All classes, lectures, facilities and events will return to their normal operation, with the exception of the Korman Center, which will remain closed until further notice, the university announced Wednesday night. Security protocols will remain in place, including the need for identification to enter a campus building via a single point of entry.

Earlier in the week, classes were held virtually as police kept watch over the demonstration on the school’s Korman Quad.

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Drexel President John Fry has repeatedly called on protesters to disband since the encampment started Saturday night.

He said protesters “have created a hostile, confrontational environment by subjecting passersby to antisemitic speech and by issuing several ‘demands’ that have unacceptably targeted individual members of our faculty and professional staff,” as well as Jewish groups on campus.

“Any Drexel student in the encampment is violating our University Code of Conduct. All demonstrators have been warned throughout the week verbally, via emails and posted signage that they are trespassing on University property and must disperse,” Fry said in a statement Wednesday night.

He previously threatened disciplinary action against Drexel students participating in the protest.

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The Drexel protesters’ demands ranged from the university administration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and divesting from companies that do business with Israel, to abolition of the Drexel police department and termination of the school’s chapter of Hillel, the Jewish campus organization, and another Jewish campus group, Chabad.

In an Instagram post earlier this week, the Drexel Palestine Coalition said, “It is slander to accuse the encampment of ‘hateful’ or ‘intimidating’ actions when we have done neither.” The group accused Drexel and city police of harassment and intimidation. A pro-Palestinian group of faculty and staff also blasted Fry on Monday for shuttering campus facilities and said the encampment was “not disruptive to learning.”

Fry said several requested meetings with protesters have been refused.

Earlier this month, protesters set up an encampment at the University of Pennsylvania before it was dismantled by police two weeks later. Since then, other demonstrations on and near the Ivy League campus were held and led to several arrests.

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